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Zeitgeist Blue

Jungle Memories: Walking the Daydream

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Snakebite

 

FIre would be a problem. But it wasn't the most pressing problem. The Earth kept spinning, and the moon would fade. And if that happened, as far as she could see, they were done for. 

 

There was a beating of her heart and a cold panic in her lungs. Like every heartbeat was a clock counting down the seconds till doom. 

 

But despite this, she ran. 

 

Perhaps, because of this, she ran. Legs fueled by desperation. 

 

"<Then we need the herbs. The potion. Back to the village! Let us regroup there!>"

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The village is quiet as you run, just the two of you. Isa had dismissed the others to go with the rest of the villagers. They had no use for this valley anymore, not with the threat of the Paruma hanging over their necks and the fire laying waste to the settlement.

 

<Healer Anne would have taken all of her stock with her when she left,> Isa explains, keeping up with you.

 

So you burst into Uncle Doji's hut, and you burst into a ramshackled room. Pots and pans upturned, the table's food and drink swept into the floor, shelves left hanging open.

 

<Looks like they left in a hurry,> Isa comments from behind you. <Do you see the herbs here?>

 

You haven't started yet but you have a sinking feeling that it is gone.

 

(OOC: You can write looking for it but there ultimately isn't one here. I'll be writing a GM post and something happening when I can. Merry Christmas!)

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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You move into the hut or you stand on the doorway. You try your hand at searching the hut or you give up to find the potion somewhere else. Whatever it is you choose to do, a minute passes before your ring suddenly goes off like a white flare. Your hand feels as if it had been seared off by the heat, and accompanying the pain images and scenes play out in your mind. They overpower your own senses with how real they feel, overlapping and blending until you can't tell the difference.

 

The wind rushes past you as you run and leap on all fours, racing before your doom is completed, faster and faster while you sense it coming closer. You stare at the moon as your instinctively struggle against your bounds but you feel excited by the possibilities and anticipate the thought of freedom after all this time. You thumb the ceremonial knife in your hand, feel the cold iron of its tip, still sharp after all all these milennia, and you lift your journal to chant the ancient words as you stand over a bound Kayara.

 

Your ring begins to cool down, only to flare up one more time.

 

<Archaeologist Cassandra?>

 

So tired and only standing through your own will, you stand over your body, which lies crumpled on the dirt, and you kneel down to pull the archaeologist up by the arm.

 

<You're going to have to walk me on this. You must have been hit harder than you thought.> You hear that with your own ears, the scenes receeding as you blink with your own eyes. Cassandra Crow's eyes.

 

You look up and you see the one constant in all the visions. The moon, hanging in the same position in the sky, yet seen from different eyes.

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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Snakebite

 

The streams of time were getting very confusing. And she was hurt, tired, angry, and cursed. She wasn't thinking straight at all. She was lifting herself up, then lying down. Then...thank goodness...she was herself again. 

 

Whetever that meant. 

 

She stood up and dusted herself off. A ritual, almost, to focus her mind. 

 

And no, she couldn't see or smell the herbs here. Which was something in between a calamity and a disaster. Arguably, it was both. 

 

"I've got a bad feeling about this..." she said to "Isa

 

"I don't suppose you know where those herbs went? Or can get some more?"

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Isa gave the room a once over at your question.

 

<Whoever left left in a hurry, but I never knew Uncle Doji to be so careless with his things. No, I don't know but whoever was here must have took them.>

 

She sighs, pinching the bridge of her nose. <I suppose we could take some from Healer Anne, no matter my wounded. I told you I'd help and if you think that's what you need then we could take some from her.>

 

She gives the room one last look before she leaves.

 

You both take off into the night again, across the village and past it, and you follow Isa's lead as she runs a winding path to what seems a predetermined point. Soon, you come across a path trod upon with numerous feet, soil churned to mud, and the two of you take the same path. It isn't long before you come to the villagers.

 

<Isa! Cassandra!> One of the sentries waves you over. <The rest who fought had just come back and the wounded are being treated right now. Did you come across what you were looking for?>

 

Isa can only shake her head as you move past the sentry. It isn't what you would call a proper camp. There are no tents or structures, no fire pits or people settling down to sleep, content to go back to their lives in the morning. No. You see fear, families huddled together uncertain what the dawn would bring. Babies cry and adults watch you walk with weary eyes as they rest, ready to start their march away anew.

 

The two of you stride to the middle of the encampment where most villagers seem to give a wide berth to. It is the field hosptial. Healer Anne's assisstants care for the wounded. Aside from those you had tended on your first night, several more from the fight with the Paruma share the space with fresh wounds and stitches.

 

<Some of them will come out of this with scars and worse,> Isa comments but she seems intent to find some cheer in this. <But perhaps things would have been more dire if you had not come to help, yes? The beast seemed intent on running away after its short scuffle with you.>

 

As you walk, you hear them first before you see them, and even without your enhanced hearing you doubt you could not miss their argument.

 

<But we have to leave now!> Dojo's voice is pleading. <There's no telling what will happen next. We have to get as far away as we can.>

 

<No,> Healer Anne's. <Now get out of my face. I have people to save. The journey won't be good for them.>

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Snakebite

 

Cassie did not really think running was an option. "If we run, we will get picked off. The beast is faster than any of us" she said, firmly. "Unless we hold our ground, we are doomed. I understand the temptation, but that's the flush of fear. No, say I. Use that fear to defend. Or even to attack. We have a fighting chance here! Do any of you think that a long journey will lead to anything but disaster?"

 

She did not wait for an answer. 

 

"If any of you believe in Gods or Magic, then know this. I think I know a way to defeat the beast. It comes from ancient times, from a moon Goddess. From a ceremony incomplete. If I can finish the ceremony, I can finish the beast..."

 

I hope. 

 

"I know you may not believe in such tales, but what you are facing is no tiger or snake. You saw it with your own eyes. This is something else. We must hold it off with guns and machete's. Even our bare hands" she explained, boldly. "But to kill it, that requires something else. To fight sorcery with sorcery!"

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<She speaks of something that requires your potions, Healer Anne,> Isa says from beside you.

 

At this point you notice many of those areound you trying to discreetly listen to this little conversation among the village elders, but so does Healer Anne and one angry glare from her is enough to get them scurrying back to work. She looks at the both of you with a skeptical look. Doji looks miffed and he is about to say something but the Healer speaks first.

 

<I don't know anything about magic, foreigner. I'd stick to what I know, salves and herbs to heal.> She waves a hand as if dismissing you. <You stick to what you believe in and I won't bother you. That way, you won't bother me either when I'm trying to do my job.>

 

Isa replies to this with renewed fervour. <I know you hold your trade and your patients in the greatest care but  the Archaeologist is our best chance here. I'm too don't know anything about this but she had come to the aid of our rear guard. I would go so far to say that perhaps none of us there would have come out alive without her.>

 

<Run, stay here, do what you think must be done but me and the Archaeologist will do what we can to stop the beast.>

 

There is a pregnant pause as she finishes and Doji, quiet ever since, steps forward, hands buried in his pockets. He regards you as he speaks.

 

<So I take it you weren't in cahoots with that orange-haired partner of yours?> He shakes his head. <Sorry, I should have known better. Either way, he had come to my hut before I had left and taken the potion and everything else he thought relevant to whatever this ceremony of yours is about. Most do not believe in Gods and Magic as you put it but I think with tonight none in this village can deny there is some sliver of truth to this.>

 

<We'll decide what to do with the village then,> and he indicates himself and a scowling healer. <But I say give her one of your potions, Anne. One person would have to go through tonight in pain but that's a price we need to take if this ceremony can do something.>

 

Faced with a three-person consensus against her, Anne can do nothing but reluctantly consent to access of her workstation. She nods and is about to say something.

 

But you don't hear it as images flood your head again. Three perspectives, three set of eyes: the Beast, the Man, the Woman. One scene under the Moon, which dips low on the sky, deep into the early morning when even the dead sleep.

 

You see the Beast attack the Man as he enters the end of his ritual. The Man attempts to fend of the Beast's assault as he simultaneously chants the last words by memory and word, clutching a journal in one hand and a machete in the other. But the Beast prevails and it stands over a bleeding, broken Man ready to deliver the fatal blow. But the Woman, forgotten by the combatants, takes out a once hidden dagger and stabs it hilt-deep into her own heart. The Beast stops as if struck dumb and it stays frozen as the Man and Woman dies. A ring appears in the Man's fingers...

 

You come back to yourself, managing not to fa down this time, but you must have stumbled or lost consciousness for a brief moment as all three villagers look at you in confusion.

 

<What's the matter?> Doji is the first to ask.

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Snakebite

 

Neil, damn you!

 

What exactly was his game? Cassie's trust in him was wavering. He had been the focus of much attention in the bowels of the temple, and now he had gone and stolen the potion. If it was not for the fact that he had saved her life she would be in the mood for vengeance right now. 

 

With the visions coming, she was not exactly sure if they were of the past, present, or future. But perhaps the vision was of the birth of the ring. Was it blessing, curse, or both?

 

"<A vision>" she said to the villagers, believing right now was the only choice. But a vision of what? She was no oracle or psychoanalyst, able to discern meaning from abstract images. She just had her intuition, her speculation, and this could well lead her down a very very wrong path. 

 

"<Perhaps, Doji, you might understand this? A man, a woman, and a beast?" she asked. "<The man is trying to...sacrifice....the woman? The beast tries to stop him, and the woman kills herself....>"

 

She mulled the words as she said them. Perhaps the ceremony was to kill the beast, or imprison it. But the woman had killed herself, rather than been killed. A ceremony done half right...

 

 

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Doji rubs his chin as he thinks. Then he shrugs his shoulders. <If we are talking myths then perhaps the beast is the Paruma. And the woman then stands to be the Moon because it is always depicted as a motherly figure? That would only leave the man.>

 

One of Anne's assistants rushes over to her to hand over a potion, contained inside a drinking canteen. Anne then hands it over to you with a shrug of her shoulders, clearly still not liking where this is going.

 

<So here's what you wanted. Now shoo and leave me to my work!> And with this she turns on her heels and leaves the three of you standing outside her medical area.

 

<That woman...> Doji watches her leave and returns his attention to you with a sigh. <Perhaps, but this is only my interpretation, but a man is always present in one of these stories and he and the woman play off each other. Sometimes it is the woman who initiates, sometimes the man. But as you described it, the man is the sacrificer. In this case the Paruma would be a tertiary comcern and the woman and man are the primary actors. Do not be fooled into thinking that just because one is bigger and stronger then it is always the most important.>

 

He shrugs, as if unsure of himself, and you feel Isa's hand on your shoulder.

 

<Thank you, Uncle Doji,> she says. <We shall keep what you said in mind. But for now, we must leave, yes?>

 

The two of you leave for nearest land closest to the sky as the moon dips in its arc, signalling the close of the night. Isa explains to you the nearest such thing is a rocky outcropping atop a hill not far from where you had met with Kayara. She tells you when you near it and your eyes pick it up first in the darkness but it is not long after Isa sees it too.

 

A path straight through the trees and underbrush, flattened to the ground, twigs and branches scattered as if they had been broken away. It looks as if something had forced itself through. Isa goes down on one knee and points to a set of tracks.

 

<The beast created this and they were made not too long ago. We should hurry if we are to stop whatever's going to happen.> 

 

She stands up and unclips the pistol from its holster, checks that its magazine still has bullets and holsters it again.

 

Meanwhile, you strain your ears and you hear deeper into the path the sound of running and underbrush breaking. And even farther from that a male voice chanting, too indistinct to hear the words, but the wind, as weak as it is, carries his voice.

 

<Ready?> Isa asks you, unaware of the things you hear.

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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Snakebite

 

It was a good point. The beast might be a distraction. 

 

The man, the woman? Was this herself and Neil. The cards seemed to be telling a bad story for Neil...if only I could see the future rather than the past!

 

Then again, would I really want to?

 

The male voice...chanting? Someone was trying to do the ceremony?

 

She took the hunch and pulled out her Tranq-pistol. "<Isa....lets lead it away from the village. Its after me, I think. And in any case, I think we have this all wrong. The beast is trying to distract us from the real threat...>"

 

It didn't look good, running, but thise was a dire time, and no road was without risk. 

 

Therefore, she ran, full speed, towards the chanting voice...she could hear much further than normal humans, and maybe she could make out the voice....

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As you run and climb up the path created by the Paruma before you, you strain your ears to hear what the voice is chanting. It seems a story or a myth, and as it continued the crashing ahead of you only intensified.

 

It was definitely Neil's voice chanting in the wind, no doubt about that. You could hear the bass at the back of his throat, too many cigarettes turning it gravelly. But instead of his usual American he was speaking Spanish, and perhaps that was why it took so long for you to recognize it.

 

<And so in the last hour of the day, when the three bells of the towers tolled nine times in grief, she escaped the belly of the beast.>

 

Then the crashing ceases, only for the sound of gunshots to replace it. And Neil continued his chant, voice strained with effort.

 

<Bloody and beaten but not broken, she emerged, and her husband, the god of the suns, came to her and comforted her. In his fury, he sought war against those who dared touch his wife.>

 

<We're almost there to the peak,> Isa tells you, breaking your concentration, before she cocks her head at the chanting. <Do you hear that?>

 

The gunshots had stopped, as had the scuffling. Only the lone voice of Neil chanting remains.

 

<And so we give her our daughters, our children, in times of great calamity, so she may have the strength to do what must be done.>

 

The voice becomes louder as you reach the peak, and you see the broken branches and brush pushed aside to reveal the open sky above. You climb over the lip to the rocky outcrop and Neil's chanting.

 

<Just as we have given this daughter, wife, priest. May she guide us to the west as you rise once more over our world...>

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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Neil! I knew it!

 

Although she clearly hadn't known it. More like a gnawing suspicion that slowly fermented. 

 

He was trying to sacrifice someone. And not, it seemed, the moon. the daughter, the wife, the priest...certainly didn't sound like a Goddess, or a moon Goddess. 

 

"<Neil is trying to sacrifice someone>" she said. "<And I'm going to stop him!>" she added, determined. She gripped her gun tightly, and ran full speed towards the chanting. 

 

Heaven knows what he is up to...I just hope I am not too late!

 

 

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You burst into the clearing just as Neil fires his revolver. But you throw yourself to the side and the shot misses, kicking up dirt behind you.

 

Isa is right behind you and she snaps up her own pistol and points it at Neil. <Stop!>

 

Neil raises his hands then peers at the two of you and you see him realizing his mistake.

 

His clothes are scratched and torn open by rocks and claws. Dirt cakes it and his skin and beard, as if he had fallen more than once. But besides the dirt and ripped clothes, Neil does not look the worse for wear. He gives you a crooked grin.

 

"Oh Crow, I didn't know it was you."

 

He begins to lower his hands but Isa's waves her pistol and he stops, staring at her, before he hangs his revolver on the pinkie finger of his hand. His other hand rises again and you notice he grips a tattered old book there. "It's okay. I'm just holstering my revolver. There's no need to get testy."

 

Then, true to his word, he slowly lowers the revolver and places it back to its holster, slung around his waist.

 

"Now," he says, glaring at Isa. "You can stop pointing that little pop shooter at me, Lady."

 

It's quite a scene, you realize, in the rocky top as Neil and Isa square-off.

 

Aside from Neil, the first thing that stands out is the Paruma, facedown on the ground as if dead, but you see no obvious wounds on its body. And right behind Neil, on a rock that would serve well enough as an altar, lies Kayara's body, a knife's hilt sticking out between her hands and into her stomach, as if she had held on to it until the very end.

 

"It's finally nice for you to join me, or us more likely," Neil says before he turns back to Isa. "Ah, what the hell," he mutters.

 

<It's done. All of it, but you didn't keep your head in the endgame, Crow. But maybe I should thank you for that, keeping this thing,> and he kicks a foot towards the Paruma <Busy while I finished what we came here for.>

 

<I did not know you could speak Spanish,> Isa says, holding her own pistol pointed to the ground.

 

<And Portuguese. And a number of different languages besides.>

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For her part, Cassie didn't drop her tranq-gun. She was surely tempted to shoot Neil right there. Several times, send him right off to sleep. But she held off, and just kept the barrel of the gun pointed firmly at him. 

 

"What have you done, Neil?" she asked him, hurt. She had given him her faith, and she had been used. 

 

"And who are you, really?" she added. "Not some regular treasure seeker. Not some standard academic. At the very least, you are playing with sorcery!"

 

And not the good kind of sorcery, either. If indeed there was such a type. 

 

"And its not over till the fat lady sings. And I'm not fat, and I'm not singing...."

 

 

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"What I've done?" Neil says, incredulous as he looks at you. Then he switches to Spanish and gestures towards Kayara's body. <What I've done is to finish the ceremony. The priestess is dead, just as she wanted, and that beast is finally gone.>

 

<But they left something behind, even as their souls go to their gods.> He removes his hand from his pocket and shows you a ring, identical to yours, held in between his forefinger and thumb.

 

<Her partner's ring,> he explains. <The one who sacrificed her and felt so sorry he had tried and failed to right his wrongs.>

 

He closes his hand around the ring and its red glow disappears underneath the fist he has made. <She gave it to me in her dying moments as the... price she would pay for the completion of her ritual. And now it is mine, along with what old magic resides in it.>

 

He shakes his head, not denying your accusations. <No. And neither are you, Crow. You and I, we both live in the world of the the super-man, you could say. It takes a special someone to retire peacefully in that world, moreso when your work requires you to live and fight for super-criminals.>

 

<I did. I'm done with that life and just want to make a new life, away from the battles and the crimes. The Foundry would probably kill me out of hand with everything I stole to get a head start. But this,> and he points at the Paruma. <Seems to me the super always finds a way back into your life.>

 

He scoffs and smirks at your last line. Then he unslings his rucksack, filled with ancient valuables and his work, and with one hand holds it out towards you. <Then sing it over. Give me your ring, the priestess' own, and I'll give you the sole rights to the Cuespac temple find.>

 

<You can give it to the British Museum and take full public credit for the find instead of sealing one half of a set behind closed doors in the basement forever.>

 

His arms are open, unthreatening even as both you and Isa hold weapons, and his auburn beard bristles as he smiles. <What do you say?>

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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It was a hard offer to say no to. A delicious offer. 

 

She could imagine the glory of all the temple had to offer. She could well imagine it. And she would make sure she got it. 

 

But...

 

"<Is that temple really for you to offer?>" she replied in Spanish before switching to English. "It's not like it belongs to you..."

 

And it doesnt belong to me, either. But I'm the one with the gun right now. And it would certainly be safer in her hands than his. 

 

"And last time I tried to pull off the ring, it wasn't coming off" she said clearly, which was no lie. She didn't make move to try again. Partially to keep the gun trained on Neil, partially because she wanted to dig a bit deeper. She was an archeologist, after all. 

 

"And why would you want it, anyway? You got what you came for" I think. "Although you still haven't told me what that ring does. Should I be scared?"

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<Is it anyone's?> He asks, shrugging. <Its builders are long dead now. Death has a way of removing all pretense of ownership.>

 

He switches as you do. "But I did most of the legwork to find it. I just needed your expertise to verify the finds, close the deal and get a legitimate museum in it. I only plan to go by Neil Kirkland as long as I can and more exposure means more risk."

 

Isa glances at you from the corner of her eye. <If Uncle Doji were here he would be protesting about how that temple was our heritage, but I'm a more practical woman. My tribe is leaving and with what came out of it once I want to wash my hands off it.>

 

<Thank you!> Neil gestures to Isa.

 

But the woman only gives him a hard glare. <That wasn't for you, foreigner.>

 

Unperturbed, Neil turns back to you. "Last time the priestess was still living her undeath. She's mostly gone now, I think, if the ceremony's supposed to do what it's for. Have you tried pulling it free now?"

 

<I could help.> He takes a step forward but Isa raises her pistol at that and he reconsiders, stops. He folds his arms as if unpleased but doesn't move any further. "I consider it a long-term investment. A risk too considering how it affected you. The priestess told me it was supposed to access and store memories. It was a side-effect when the partner bound her too it. First, her memories, then expanding until it took the memories of the temple, then the past inhabitants and then the beast's victims."

 

"There're so many options with that kind of ability." He shrugs. "So I want to find out if it's true and I think I'll do what I first suggested a week ago and find experts who can really tell me about it. See? Being careful."

 

<Can someone speak in a language I understand?> Isa says from your side.

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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"<Of course>" replied Cassie to Isa. 

 

"<This...man....is offering a deal. Of sorts>" she explained. "<But he is a deceiver, and why should I...or anyone...trust a deceiver?>" she asked Neil. "<You could have explained your history, but no, even now, you keep it mired in murk, obscured and half-hidden. I am not so hard of heart that I would not at least listen, at least consider, a genuine plea...>"

 

"<But I think you have shot that bolt, Sir>" she said, stiffly. "<You lied. And you will, no doubt, lie again. I could not trust a word that falls from your lips. It is only the fact you saved my life back in the temple that stays my hand right now...>" she said, spitting venom with her words. 

 

Perhaps, if the Lemurian blood really boiled, it would literally be venom. 

 

"<The Beast, a distraction, you call it, but it ended up killing. Why, Sir, is that blood not on your hands? Speak wisely. This is not a court of law. This is a jungle....>"

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<What? And do you expect me to tell you my whole life's story?> He replies, face redenning. <Everything I said was the truth and nothing more. But you don't get it do you? The things I need to do to keep myself one step ahead from my estranged employees. You don't and so maybe I should just-->

 

He begins to step forward, menace emanating from his whole body. His arms raise, hair standing on end as if ready to leap forward. Then Isa cocks her pistol at him and he stops in his tracks, blinking as if to remind himself where he is. He composes himself but you still see the scowl on his face as he speaks.

 

<It was a calculation, Crow. I can't and won't save everyone but I could have put a stop to it. And that's what I did, instead of dillydallying off to drive of a beast that would just come back again and again, whittling down your numbers until you were none at all. And it worked, didn't it?>

 

Isa says, <Your words are not endearing yourself, foreigner.>

 

<The truth isn't always nice. But fine,> and Neil throws up his hands in exasperation then slings his rucksack over his shoulders. <Fine, fine. Have it your way, Crow. You can have your ring. Wear it, store it away, do whatever you want with it. I don't care but I'll take my finds back to Peru and take what I can from them and you'll be nowhere near me when I do that. Hopefully it could compensate me for this whole mess.>

 

He begins to walk forward, open hands raised in the air. <Get out of my way. I'm leaving.>

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"No! Don't you move!" replied Cassie, keeping her revolver with its tranq-darts pointed firmly at Neil. "You don't get to just walk out of here!"

 

"You used me. You used those people. What do you expect me to do? Let you walk out of here, collect your spoils and live happily after?"

 

Her eyes darkened. Her pupils changed to slits. 

 

"I have Lemurian blood in my veins. It is more cruel than you or your Foundry. Why do you think I carry a gun loaded with tranq-darts rather than bullets? Why do you think I carry a whip and not a knife? Because if I let it, I would slowly flay you alive...." she said darkly. 

 

An exagerration, but still....

 

"You think you are out of danger? You haven't reckoned with me, yet. Move one muscle and you will...."

 

What am I going to do?

 

"What do the Foundry want from you? I cannot let them get hold of anything from this temple. It is too dangerous!"

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<Then what are you waiting for, Crow.> Neil's unfolds his arms to his sides. He taunts you and you see his fingers twitch near his holstered revolver. <Use your weapons. Cede control to that blood of yours and pretend that tranq you hold would be something more lethal.>

 

He spits to the ground beside him. <The Foundry want revenge on me. I stole their secrets of manufacturing their vaunted tech when I left. Sold them so they weren't so secret anymore. And now I'm betting that bronze-clad fascist, Talos, wants me back to make an example out of me.>

 

<They have nothing to do with this temple. But I do and I'm just a man who cares for survival. Not my fault you lot had to deal with the beast. No one could have predicted that thing coming out of the temple but there's no use in crying over spilled milk now.>

 

<Those were people I know!> Isa protests. <And now they're dead. You don't brush them away like that.>

 

<I wasn't the one who killed them.> He repeats as his eyes flit between you and an incensed Isa. He licks dry lips, nervous in what seems to be a stand-off. <So, Crow, one last time, start shooting or get out of the way.>

 

Slowly, his boot inches forward, crunching on the hard ground.

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Cassie hesitated. "I don't blame you for selling from the Foundry. But you handled this wrong. Cruel and callous" she explained. 

 

Still, what justice was there here? Deep in the Jungle?

 

Neil had saved her life - if it was purely a matter of theft, she would have let him walk. 

 

But as Isa said, people were dead because of him. 

 

Was that murder? Murder by indifference?

 

"<Isa. This man is trying to survive. He didn't kill your friends, but he didn't save them either. Its a bloody mess we are left with....>"

 

And still, she didn't trust him. At the end of the day, that was the issue. He was a liar. 

 

"<I'm sorry Neil, but I can't be sure of anything you say. All of those whispers in the temple. Defiler, Thief, Murderer. They seem more true than your words. I'm not getting out of your way...>"

 

So she fired...

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GM

 

Neil dashes forward as you pull the trigger and he ducks to the side, the poison-tipped dart to merely scratching his shoulder. He doesn't even seem to notice as intent as he is for you.

 

Isa shoots immediately after you but her shots trail Neil's dash, rounds zipping by where he was moments before.

 

Then he slams into you, fists flying in quick succession, his large fists impacting your torso, your arms, like sledgehammers. He sidesteps to behind you, putting you between him and Isa, then grabs your neck in a two-arm hold.

 

"A past I escaped from, Crow." He wheezes into your ear. You feel the hairs of his beard, coarse and caked with sweat, prickle your skin. "Most of them apply to you or will you tell me everything you do for the British Museum is out of charity?"

 

Isa flanks to your side, her pistol raised and looking for an opening, but Neil forces you to turn and stay in front of Isa's sights. His nails dig down.

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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Snakebite

 

High on adrenaline, Cassie felt the fists like feathers. But before she knew it, he was grappling her. He was stronger - and faster - than she had hoped. Was he enhanced by the Foundry? It was likely. 

 

"What can I say" she grunted as she grasped his arm. "I'm a greedy girl"...

 

She twisted his arm and spun out of his hold, a brazillian jui-jitsu move. She instantly fell into a defensive stance, moving as a capoerista. 

 

"But even greed has its limits. The ends don't justify the means!" she retorted. She ducked low, hands brushing the Jungle soil, and spun again, launching a low spinning kick at his ribs. 

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GM

 

You feel a rib budge but before you could follow through and end the fight Neil rolls with your kick with a grunt. He stumbles nonetheless from the force, his footing unsteady. You see him grimace in pain, his hand going up to where your foot connected.

 

He tries to speak but a hacking cough interrupts him. Yet he has enough sense of mind to duck to the side as another of Isa's bullets fly past where he just was. He keeps you as a barrier.

 

Then Isa rushes past you, the melee too risky to shoot in, and tries to push him off the clearing. But grabs her by the arm and, flipping her over his shoulder, uses her momentum to throw her away.

 

She crashes through the foliage and doesn't stop, her fall turning into a violent tumble down the incline the two of you had just climbed from. Then with a heavy thud that you hear with your Lemurian senses, the crashing ends.

 

Neil's manuever exposes his back to you and as he pivots back toward you, you hear him mutter darkly.

 

"Annoying girl..."

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