Cooperative Fiction

Skip to content

Who's da jailboid?

Post by Dorcas Tansy on

Dorcas's adrenaline-fueled attention was focused on her cat and his path. She was hardly in any shape to be running, panting, stumbling, and trying to think all at once.

"Boy," she gasped with her hand crumpled into a claw on her wrapped rib, "slow down." They were out of immediate fire by that point. The cat stopped in his path and turned an alert gaze upon his master; he seemed to understand. He looked ahead to the filthy, Harlem-like shanty town, and veered northeast of it in his path. He went a few cat-paces slower than before.

The others soon caught up and passed Dorcas and her guidecat. The alert one between them stopped in his path again and stared wide-eyed at the group he'd left behind moments before. They were headed for the shanty town. This time, the cat followed them.

"We haveta keep movin'."

Cautiously comfortable in their position to slow from a run, the cat, followed by Dorcas, came up to Chris's left side with a long, brisk stride. "We cahn't keep up li' this forever. We need a place to hide! You all've got to know the area well enough. Huh? Hm?" Dorcas's words came as a series of huffs and puffs as she gasped for breath behind injured ribs.

The cat, a low, bushy figure in the surrounding filth, fit into the scenery surprisingly well as he skulked on ahead, scouting. Dorcas spent a few frantic moments glancing about before she realized where he was, camouflaged and assimilated into the ghetto. She stopped walking, in a few staggering paces, and called after her companions.

"We've on'y got to blend in, see?" She could only hope they'd stop long enough to turn around, give her some consideration. She looked as if she knew she could go on much longer. Her face streaked with tears and stained with soot and dirt, her clothes torn and supplemented with rags, her skin blotchy with fever and impending shock, she did indeed look like she might be able to fit into the surroundings of the ghetto long enough to go unnoticed by rampaging guards.

Post by Joy on

((OOC: Sorry for being a bit of a god-poster here with controlling your actions Illilli... I was just trying to find a reason why Chris and Dorcas did not notice your character's change. I can edit it if you wish, just let me know. You can PM me to do so, and give me the details of what you want changed.))

The blood spurting from Joy's injured arm soon became a slight trickle, and then stopped entirely. Still, he seemed to have trouble moving it as well as an arm should be able to move, but at least that did not slow down his running.

What did, was Illilli's sudden cry. Instincts kicked in, as his left hand came forcibly up to clamp around the woman's mouth. He seemed startled at what he had done, before he remembered the situation they all now faced. Escaped prisoners, in a hostile city. An unexpected cease in forward movement, with his right hand securely gripping the changing woman's arm.

Joy heard the tearing sound, and saw the pain in the lady's eyes. His gaze flicked towards the route the other two escapees were making, before he took a deep breath and shoved himself and Illilli into a nearby ally. Even though her pain seemed to grow with every moment, he kept on pulling her forward, away from the main streets and through a zig-zagging trail that ran roughly parallel with the progress of the others.

At last, he let her go, mouth and arm entirely, shivering as he heard her cries of pain. He could not answer her as she asked about what was happening to her, as his knowledge of magic was limited to that of the mind, not the body. But he could answer her call, her plea for help, as he studied her quivering and changing body, and saw the tension of her clothing.

It might seem that Joy was aloof and disconnected from reality, but in truth he was very focused on what needs to be done. And so, with the clean sound of a sword exiting its sheath, he drew his weapon and pointed it at the woman. His unsteady smile blossomed once more, into as reassuring as a person can be when they have a weapon drawn upon you. "Hold still Miss Illilli."

Now, the rapier is almost as far from a slashing weapon as a club, for only its point bears sharpness. Yet he wielded it expertly, stabbing forward with the point to delicately split the leather in several points, until the force of what was growing behind it could rend it asunder. Both the lady's shoulder area and the region of her lower back was split open by the combined efforts of the changes occurring and the tip of the sword.

Joy did not gawk at what would be displayed underneath, and soon raised his sword above him, leaping into the air once, twice, and finally a third time. Down into his hands fluttered a hooded cloak, that had been hanging on a line to dry. It wad damp, but it was also heavy and would conceal what needed to be concealed. His weapon was returned to its sheath smoothly, as he took a brief second to glance at what had just occurred to this woman's body.

Despite his wonderment at what this unobtrusive young woman's transformation, he quickly and loosely swung the garment around the woman's shoulders. "I... we'll have time to figure out what just happened later, but for now we have to run. Here, lean on me, your legs seem shaky, but we still have to move. Hopefully will still be able to catch up with the other two, as I have no idea where I'm going. Oh, and you should probably pull that hood down low. You are quite... distinctive... right now."

This entire region was unfamiliar to him, but they had to move. And as he offered his help to get Illilli on her feet, he also helped her forward. Slowly at first, but with more speed as he continued, dragging the woman a bit if necessary.

Fortune was with him and his companion however, as despite his lack of knowledge in where he was going, he had managed to find a shortcut through the back-alleys. He and Illilli cut right in front of the paper-folder leaving his trail of blood, as he was stopped by cat following woman.

His breath was labored as he rested his free hand flat against a wall of a run down shop. "Sorry for the detour folks. We had a problem you could say. What was that about blending?"

Post by Chrishton Radu on

(( We'll go with your actions joy, since it makes things easier. Assume chris saw that Joy was next to Ill and didn't get involved. ))

Chris looked at Dorcas and for a second there was a feeling of insecurity in the man. The girl was looking worse by the minute, and while he sincerely doubted she would die as a result of her injuries and the stress of running, the possibility was there and even inari wasn't capable of saving her if things took another turn for the worse. Chris knew that they would have to rest, and if he or someone else didn't tend to her injuries she just might kick the bucket. The death of a young girl would really ruin his day...

"Good call kid." he replied to her remark about blending in.

Chris looked pretty messy and unshaven, as was his style, but he didn't look nearly as bad as the poor people of the shanty town or even as bad as Dorcas did. His long dark hair had a way of hanging back so that it didn't need combing, and the stubble on his face was thick and even, like it belonged to someone who at least had access to a razor and some soap now and then. As for his clothes... Well they fit the bill perfectly. His shirt was clean enough, but the jacket covering it was old, worn and poked with holes here and there. His pants had been clean before, but now one leg bore a distinct purplish stain on his thigh, and were starting to look a little dirty.

He knelt over and reached down for the ground, and then nearly collapsed under the strain it put on his leg to do so, grimmacing but not letting himself make a sound. He set his jaw and ignored it, told himself it wasn't really that bad and that he shouldn't complain. He wiped his hand over the ground in a dirty corner where the dirt road met a building and the ground was soggy, and brought it up to smear some of the grime on his face.

What was that about blending?

He looked over and saw Joy had helped the other girl out as he'd expected. He glanced at Illilli but didn't dwell on what he saw.

"Try not ta look so heroic, wouldya? We need a place ta rest an' I know where. C'mon, the lot o' ya."

He put a hand on Dorcas' shoulder for just a second, didn't say anything, and then started walking again. His first step came painfully and he hunched over slightly, but with each following one he straightened up, working through the pain. He led them into the streets where there were more people.

Post by Illilli on

"I look... like a freak... I AM a freak..." she gasped. Illilli was holding her shirt and pants as well as she could to remain modest under the cloak Joy tossed over her. She couldn't quite sling her backpack in its accustomed, comfortable place because now she had wings and a tail to deal with.

"How the hell is THIS supposed to blend in?" she tossed her hair causing its holographic properties to display themselves in the light available.

"Atleast I don't look like I used to look like... I guess thats a start..."

She turned to Joy, "Thank you very much for saving me back there. I guess buckskins aren't as practical as I once thought..."

Illilli looked somewhat like a clown with her shirt cut up the back hanging around her neck by a small chunk of leather which was at least able to hang down enough for some modesty. She held her pants up with one hand as if they were way too big, and a damp cloak tented over her rather large wings and tail hanging open in front. Her slight potbelly was now quite obvious.

"THIS isn't gonna work... She's hurt, and I need to find out what the hell is going on with me. My family never told me anything about THIS..." She held up her tail as best she could from under the cloak.

"So where are we going?" Illilli's tail thumped the ground in impatiance.

Post by Dorcas Tansy on

((my apologies for not acknowledging in post Dorcas's ignoring of Illilli's change; she wasn't paying attention. Usually I'd mention in post if my character ignores something significant, so I'll make sure to use my judgment and devote some portions of post in the future to what my characters aren't doing))

Dorcas's gasps slowed when Chris knelt to dirty his face. His compliance with her suggestion gave her a moment's peace. She hesitated as he put his hand on her shoulder, then reached up to touch it, but found it gone as he was starting to walk off.

She glanced to Joy and Illilli to see if they planned to follow suit, and she exhaled a hiss through horsey teeth upon seeing more clearly the state of Illilli. "This whole place . . . utter circus . . ." she said breathlessly. She looked about with worried eyes for a few moments. The visions of monsterish humanoids all around her, even right before her, convinced her to focus her gaze on Joy. Even if he played the part of a sinister ringleader, at least his form didn't seem to be affected by her feverish hallucinations.

When Illilli spoke, she only peeked at her through the corner of her eye to speak to her. "You won't do a good job of blending in if you keep announcing all around that you're a freak, even if you are, and none of us is arguing that."

She looked back up after Chris as he walked off. He, too, seemed not to be distorted by hallucination, with the exception of that paper he'd played with earlier. Dorcas took a few long steps after him, and her cat kept up in quick stride.

"You know where we're going?" she panted as she plodded along behind Chris. With her mind fuzzy with fever and apparent hallucinations, she was making little attempt to prove herself at the moment as particularly tough, useful, or cocky. " . . . I don't know what's going on. I wan' lie down. I keep seein' things."

Post by Joy on

Fleeing for your life sure can make one find extraordinary circumstances less mind consuming, or so Joy had fathomed. He hardly had any time to process the fact that this motley crew's tour guide had opened locks without any physical work, or brought paper to what seemed like life. Nor did he have time to dwell on the not quite hysterical Illilli with her physical affinity to flying lizards. If anything, he would dwell on the injured woman and her cat - in a world of freaks, the normal take center stage. But he did not even have time for that.

"My pleasure Miss Illilli," he chipperly intoned at her thanks, and physically responded with a grin and tip of his head. "I'm sure well get everything settled, once we find a good hiding place."

As for blending, Joy did not quite have that down. He looked too clean for one, although the dust from exploding bricks helped out a bit. At least he was not bright orange anymore, as he managed to flip his coat inside out so that only the color grey was visible. His hair was the main problem, and to that he found a quick fix.

Even with forward progress, following the ever purposeful combo magician-brawler that their leader, he grabbed a chunk of heavily burned wood that some vagrant had used the night before. Crushing it in his hand, he coated his beautiful locks with the black ash, and even smeared some across his face. A quick transition from vaguely noble seeming chap to the visage of a gutter rat.

The cat-woman's bitter comments regarding blending Joy piped in with a quick seconding of the motion. "She's got a point... remember, we're poor and unhappy, and any outburst short of mugging someone isn't an appropriate action. Just trudge along..." His gaze fluttered over to Illilli's expanded back, and he hung back to quirky whisper, "And see if you can fold those things in... you're going to make hunchbacks jealous!"

Post by Illilli on

"Alright, alright..." some of the panic was slowly leaving Illilli. With a quite rattling noise she tried to pull her wings in a bit more, but only managed to get them a couple inches closer, and that with a bit of muscle strain. She stumped along trying to hold her ruined leather pants up and hold the cloak down and across her chest. There wasn't much she could do with her tail.

"Its not fair, why didn't they tell me this could happen..." she mumbled under her breath as she followed everyone else.

"Wish I knew how to use these things..." she grumbled as she moved to follow closer behind Dorcas and her cat, figuring that Dorcas had a lot rougher time than she was having. After all, Illilli wasn't injured, just surprised and disturbed to find out that she wasn't as human as she had thought.

"Nice Cat... Whats his name?" she quietly asked Dorcas as she matched her strides to stay beside her. The damp cloak was clinging slightly against Illilli's wings, rubbing and irritating the strong but delicate skin that webbed between her wing bones and connected down her sides to her hips.

Post by Chrishton Radu on

"Yeah I know where we're goin'. I got these friendly fuckin guides in me head an' they never fuckin shut up about where I'm goin'."

He said to Dorcas without looking at her and without actually seeming very bothered by what he was saying. The spirits laughed. He ignored them skilfully.

"Asides, I been here a few days now. Got ta know the city pretty good. There's only one place we're sure ta find some peace and quiet, and that's 'cause ain't nobody else wants ta go there."

He looked around the shanty town as they walked, remembering all the time he'd spent in places like this. All the poor people, the downtrodden, the beggars, the cripples and the freaks trying to get by on the scraps of the rich, living outside of the law and outside of civility. He felt for them, but more importantly he knew them and knew how to be one of them. It came so much easier than living the proper life of an ordinary man, let alone the blue-blooded nightmare some people brought upon themselves...

There were stands all around selling things, and he saw one in particular selling food that actually looked edible. Onions and sausages hung from the makeshift roof, and the tables had an assortment of stale bread, cheeses and vegetables. He could see by the look of the woman tending to it and by the stand itself that the food would be cleaner than the others.

He took a loaf of bread and one of the sausages, getting the lady's attention with his size and presence alone, and put a few coins into her hand that he'd dug out of his pants. It was the last of his money and he was lucky the guards hadn't bothered taking it from him, a fact that probably had something to do with not being worth the trouble.

"And some water love. As much as ya'll give me." He said to the lady, who was already blushing by the way he looked at her. She handed him an old skin full of water, which he handed to Dorcas immediately.

"Don't take much. We're gonna need it."

He bit into the loaf of bread and tore off a piece with his teeth like a hungry dog. It was awfully stale and had a sour taste to it, which reminded him of childhood. Still chewing he kept the food with him and continued on eastwards. Already he could see an old stone wall up ahead where the shanty town grew thin and gave way to the old fortress.

Post by Illilli on

Illilli was getting tired and her hand was cramping from trying to hold her split pants up enough to be modest...

"Are we almost there? I don't know how much longer I can hold my clothing together... And the other gal doesn't seem to be doing so good." she piped up from behind the big man.

Illilli looked around and noticed a fairly sizable though ruined tower in the middle of the remains of the ancient fortifications. Long trailers of Clemantis, honeysuckle and wysteria had worked their way up the side from small garden areas abandoned long ago.

"Pity they aren't in bloom..."

Something was quite odd though, usually in quiet areas similar to this forlorn spot there was always sound. The incessant noise of insects, the scurrying of small animals or bird song was missing from this area. The only noises here were the distant occasional rustle of the market they had just passed through or the sound of the wind alone.

Illilli shivered and her wings rattled under her cloak, and it wasn't just from the chill of the approaching evening.

Post by Dorcas Tansy on

((Don't lose hope, silly. I said I'd be gone, didn't I? I'm posting before I have to leave again and will be back on Sunday. P.S. Japan was tight))

Dorcas attempted to fix her gaze on Illilli again, but instead looked down at her cat, when she found herself having a hard time focusing. She hesitated before speaking.

"Boy. An' 'e's not nice," she finally said. She picked up pace and stepped past her cat, who began to follow her now.

When Chris stopped, so did Dorcas, standing behind him, swaying slightly. So tall and heavy, yet lantern-jawed and seemingly frail at the moment, she had a wraithish quality to her.

She took the waterskin he offered and held it in both hands, staring as if her gaze was focued a few feet beyond the object. She eventually lifted the skin to her lips, and as she sipped in the wet air just above the water, her body reacted to the taste of hydration. She neary doubled over, coughing, shaking her head, but managed not to spill the water. Chris picked up step, and she started to follow, reluctantly. She lifted the waterskin again and forced herself to wet her mouth with perhaps a drop or two of water before shoving it back at Chris.

"When we stopping?" she mumbled, tripping over a nearly invisible root in her path.

Post by Joy on

Downcast eyes, and a grim shuffle of feet, was the sight Joy gave to the city folk. But as they thinned out, grew less and less populous, his head picked up, and he walked straighter and straighter. Eventually, his posture was as merry as his smile.

Not to say he was worry free. The tall cat-lady was not in the best of shapes, and he only hoped that he and the other two had enough medicinal knowledge to carry her through her injury. Maybe that would not even be necessary, if the at least partially insane leader of the expedition seemed to have more tricks up his sleeve than the sleaziest of card-sharks. At least Illilli would have the time to come to terms with her change, if all went well enough.

He glanced at the winged woman, an unasked question in his eyes. Could the people who had imprisoned them have done this to her? Was it a curse, or a blessing? He snorted then at the thought - there was rarely an incident that could truly be considered a curse. Chipperly, his thoughts ran as such: We can learn from all that afflicts us, and grow.

It was only after nearly a minute did Joy realized something was odd. His snort, a reaction to his private ponderings, had broken something that was not there before. The silence. The closer the escapees got to the old fort, the quieter it became, and the colder it got.

The question regarding their stopping point did pique the thoughtful optimist's curiosity. It was said, rather incomprehensibly to Joy's ears, that the big man leading them had guides he was following. He chimed up with a few words of his own, if only to fill the gaping silences, and a hand gestured to encompass the fort.

"So is this collection of old rock going to be where we'll be holing up? It looks... cozy."

Post by Chrishton Radu on

Chris took the water back absently and continued walking. He seemed not to want to look at Dorcas, more focusing on the task at hand than on the people he was with. That is until the corner of his eye caught sight of Illilli and he heard some words about keeping her clothes on.

He turned his head to look at her and his eyes wandered. They leered the way only a man's eyes can at the sight of a woman, and they suggested so much more than ought to be suggested by a simple glance. He wasn't looking at the wings...

"Gah" He stumbled as his toe caught a brick that had sat itself in the middle of the road, and looked away again to the ruins that now lay before them. He didn't say anything about Illilli's condition. No "wow" or "that's weird" or even an expression that suggested he found her abrupt transformation anything out of the ordinary. Instead he muttered some curses at the brick in the road and continued on his way.

It was strange though. She wasn't anything he'd seen before, and he'd seen a lot. Granted, there were a million and one things he'd never seen before and they came up all the time, but he suspected it was significant somehow that she would choose now to change into whatever she was. Thankfully it wasn't a dragon.

The scenery changed from filthy wood and brick huts that smelled like shit and rotting food, to ancient stone that smelled like mould and dust. None of the people from the shanty town went very far past the old wall, and soon Chris and his friends were the only people around. The bustle of the market died away in the backround and there was silence that cut through everything...


There were no spirits, no annoying voices following him around. Nothing. He could feel that he was alone, that nobody save for Inari himself could be watching. It was a feeling he hadn't experienced for what felt like a decade. The emptiness was combined with a really strong feeling in the air that he knew was death magic. The place reeked of evil so bad even the birds avoided it. Oddly, that was something Chris was used to. He'd seen worse, been to a place that made this little rubble heap look like nothing at all. It was the lack of company in his head that really bugged him.

He stubbed his toe on another stone, this time a much larger one that sent him staggering a few steps. His eyes were up high, like he was looking for something in the air. Having a head clear of the fox spirits was something he always expected would be a blessing, but when presented with the reality of the situation he found it almost frightening. He hadn't realized how much he had been relying on their subtle hints and clues for help. The man looked lost, despite knowing exactly where he was and what he was doing.

He answered Joy's rhetorical question, still looking distracted. "Uh... Aye, we'll be stayin' here the night. I donna think they'll be in any hurry ta search it."

He took his eyes off the sky and looked at the tower Illilli had been looking at earlier. It was obviously the center of whatever this place was, and had a whole lot of spookiness about it.

"There looks good. Why the fuck not."

Post by Frug on

Post, someone, before I kill you.
The world is an arena, not a stage. RP is a stage, not an arena.

Post by Illilli on

Illilli walked to the door of the ruined tower and peeked into the slight gloom. She was rewarded with the sight of large piles of dried, crispy leaves and occasional small piles of bones, most likely that of small animals that had long since become fragile with age. The charred remains of a very old campfire could be seen in the middle of the main room downstairs and a stairway curled its way up to the next floor. The wooden railing had long since turned to dust so there was only a knee high banister of stone bricks along the edge of the stairway.

This floor had no true windows, only occasional arrow slits that let the last of the light create bars of yellow on the dusty air. The sense of forboding wasn't as strong here as it was outside in the grounds. There were a few small rooms around the sides of the tower though their doors had obviously become a part of the compost of the floor.

"I wonder what the next level looks like... but for now I want to do something about my clothes..." She slunk into the first room on her right.

The walls of the room were bare except for two smalls stone hooks over the door. Illilli hung her cloak over them by the hood to give herself some sense of privacy.

She was scared yet awed by the changes that had come over her body. She spread her wings a far as she could for the first time, though the cramped room meant that she could only open them part way.

Sturdy bones stretched the thick, warm and soft leather of her wings. Looking over her shoulders as best as she could she discovered that the markings from bac continued down her wing bones in long straight lines down the bone lines. The Skin of her wings connected down her side to her hips.

"Dammit, this complecates things..." she muttered. This wasn't even mentioning her 4 foot tail as well.

She took the remnants of her leather gear and her knife and got to work... After about 15 minutes she had trimmed up her shirt so it went around her neck like a halter and had two ties that connected to her now hip hugging pants... a strap went over her tail to hold her pants in place. This let her tail out through the cut joy had so helpfully made in the back of her buckskin pants.

"Well its not too bad..." she grumbled as she pushed aside her cloak and went back into the main room, taking advantage of the the first chance to open her wings fully and stretch.

"Much better, though I still don't understand WHY I am like this."

Bringing her wings back in she walked towards Dorcas, "Feeling any better? How can I help?"

Post by Dorcas Tansy on

In the fifteen minutes since Illilli had taken her leave from the group, Dorcas hadn't gone far. She'd stumbled into the tower, stubbed her boot on the same stone Chris had.

The cat had hesitated as soon as Dorcas had stubbed her toe; he didn't want to go on. His eyes were wide and swimming with those sparks of frantic spirits only housecats see. Quick jerks of his head had him staring at various invisible flies that buzzed in the gloomy air. He watched bugs around Chris's head, as if he could see the very essence of the spirit guides flitting away. Eventually, he ran after Dorcas. He was edgy about the place, but had made his decision to stick with his mistress.

The atmosphere of the whole area was chilly, but a cobwebby pile of dried-out leaves, too crisp to decay, seemed warm and comforting. One bunch of leaves was a musty bed to Dorcas. She squatted down beside the leaves in the corner and then sat heavily on her backside, just as Boy caught up to her.

Dorcas stared at the doorway, awaiting the entrance of the men. Her face was slack, greasy, fatigued. She tried to steady her bewildered gaze as her mind slipped in and out of lucidity with every few beats of her heart. She sighed every few moments, short of breath.

Boy trotted back to the door to look at the men. He looked as accusatory as any cat ever may. He walked back to Dorcas and sat at her feet, content to keep watch for invisible, horrible bugs.

((Illilli, I am waiting for the boys to do their thing before having Dorcas respond to you, because I think stuff will have happened within fifteen minutes))


Return to Old Posts