OOC: Please ignore my previous post. I have retconned due to its innocuous qualities. It was also simply a poor piece of dramatic writing.
@ Krayzikk: I have some good news. Keep your champion in the snows, if you can.
@Vezok’s Friend: Thanks for being so patient for me to post this. I’ve had a really long and hard couple of months.
IC: Draeverian Joskiir
The funeral was ended. Steaming breath spiraled from Draeverian’s mouth. A mixture of regret and shame trickled down his face. I should have been here. This.... Would have been different. He fought the urge to punish himself more. To exact the game of vengeance not upon an enemy, but upon his own soul. To carve out his heart-light and dash it across the slopes of Mt. Ihu. During the funeral itself, Draeverian had wept loudly as a trio of cenobites gave their requiem for Nuju’s soul. The life of the scholar monk was a double edged blade: it yielded unity of thought, yet promoted a fracturing of duty. Alternating and slipping between each other’s lines, they sang with as much guilt as Joskiir felt now.
Oh shifting snows.
Fractals flush against the moonlight --
Translucent descendants from the Stars;
Drift down to me --
Cure my laden heart;
Release my soul to be at peace.
Draeverian’s gaze, or what would once have constituted for a gaze, looked outwards, his chin jutting forwards to cut the frozen air like the prow of a great ship. He sat on the snow-topped stairwell leading from Ko-suva. Although built for the great toa Kopaka, the ko-suva was nevertheless designed by matoran who had no knowledge of their hero’s stature, forcing Draeverian to remain outside or to bend double through the humble opening. There was an expansive view of the mountain range, as well as the verdant lip of green as the jungle bordered the edge of your sight. He could remember the sights, but now he only had the sounds for comfort. The pillars of solid ice which held up the shrine’s roof groaned in long notes, like the icicles Draeverian had manipulated during his battle with the toa Salamander. Funny. I’ve come full circle. He was able to feel each droning note reverberate through the snow on the stairs, up through his legs, coursing like energetic muscles across his body in a race to the top, pouring out his head with a burst of clarity. For the young toa of sound, it assuaged his grief.
Rivet stood behind him, her body planked against one of the shrine’s archways. A cold piece of protodermic steel, she was lifeless in her physicality. Draeverian left her there on purpose. He didn’t want to talk. Beneath the raw death of Turaga Nuju was a long list of sins, mistakes he could never forgive himself for until they had been washed clean, purged by the paragon he was destined to become.
The top of the list was Rivet.
You know, there’s other ways of conversing with you. Draeverian cringed, body stiffening as he felt the crawling alien presence of another sentience course through his veins. The air slashed his nostrils as she inhaled deeply, enjoying the lavish freedom a body gave. After a moment’s hesitation his lips parted, tongue flickering outwards to probe the extend of its leash.
“You haven’t changed, Drae,” Draeverian said, his voice emotionless, as if beginning a conversation by mentioning the weather. In his mind, a furious struggle was taking place. The silver circles of his sound-world expanded, melting and intersecting with each other like the ripples on a pond. Standing upon the pond of sound were two figures: there was him, the rightful owner of his body, and there was her, the rightful owner of his soul.
He chuckled. Again, not Draeverian. How did you -- Draeverian attempted to grasp control over his tongue, but only the intention floated to the surface of his consciousness, not the action. Another chuckle and the toa of rhetoric batted his half-formed question aside with a decisive victory;
“You said ‘death do you part’, so until you’re dead, we’re hitched.”
Draeverian’s body stood up, stretching to the full limits of his well-toned capacity. Turning around, he went to walk towards his toa-tool, but slipped and fell down the flight of steps, bouncing the short flight down to a precipitous landing, ankles dangling off the mountainside. STOP IT! You’ll get us BOTH killed!
“I’m already dead, remember,” said, gritting her teeth as a memory of sulfur and death filled their shared mind. Draeverian’s body pulled its limbs inwards, like a small beetle scrabbling to right itself. “Being blind sucks.”
Tell me about it. Draeverian’s consciousness was curled up comfortably in his world of ripples. They never touched her, not one. No matter how hard she tried, how long she waited before pouncing, each silver strand would slip through her grasp. She was miserable. Draeverian felt the hot rush of shame curl around his throat like a garrote, tightening with each failed attempt she enacted. This was too much. He was going to snap.
She paused, the snow fluttering to land on her shoulders. The words tasted like acid as she repeated them. “Go back?”
Go back. Draeverian was standing, an arm pointing outwards, pointing towards his sword at the top of the stairs. If you could get into my mind, you can get back into your blade. GO BACK.
“I.. just want to be alive again. What’s so wrong about that?” She was crying, hot tears rolling down Draeverian’s face even as he felt the headache begin to grow. The headache was pounding a vicious drumbeat now, each pulse of life-essence crashing like cymbals between his ears. If you kill me, there will be no hope for you returning to your body. Now, go back!
There was the sensation of being sucked into a vacuum, of his body being bent like hot taffy, melted into a single line as her sentience split from his body. He heard a jangle of metal clattering to the ground. Draeverian coughed. Freedom. Sweet freedom. Tentatively he climbed the steps back to the suva, feeling the harsh bruises that had bloomed across his body. Almost daintily Rivet was collared in her sheath.
I come here to grieve, and you almost kill me.
You came here because you needed an attitude adjustment, brakas.
Draeverian pause a moment, then descended the steps back to the village. He would need to find the Aitua. There was something important he had to do...