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A Place To Stay


A Place To Stay

Post by Saku on

Rain thrummed against the roofs of the building above, grey in the half-light of dusk, the sound covering the padding of bare feet along the cold, cobbled street. Saku shifted uncomfortably, drawing her thick cloak around her in an attempt to keep warm. At her side, her companion paced quickly, darting in between her legs in an attempt to stay dry. The cat’s fur was plastered against his back, halving his size and making him rather unobtrusive as he ran through the shadows. He however, was not the object of Saku’s attentions. Her violet, lamp-like orbs raised from the floor, she examined a building ahead of her.

The stone wall loomed above her, a rotting wooden water wheel creaked to the left of her as it made it’s slow circles in the river. The building seemed to be an old mill, fallen into disrepair, some of the rafters were exposed and an air of abandonment rang through the area. Tiny windows circled about 9 feet up from the ground, too high for Saku to reach on a plain, featureless and otherwise unscaleable wall. Dark, nearly black hands exposed from her sleeves, Saku raised them and pushed back her hood, exposing the long, white dreadlocks which hung over her face, shading it from view. Tossing her head back she scrutinised the windows before turning and pacing the perimeter of the building, finding a large double door. Trying her luck on the handle, she found it locked. Glancing around carefully, she pressed her shoulder against it, hoping to feel the creak of weak wood however it seemed she was out of luck. Regardless how dilapidated the building was, the door was new and strong, barring her entrance.

Stepping back with a frown, she circled back to her original position, looking up once more at the windows then to her companion. In once fluid motion she had crouched down on the ground before the cat, her black lips parted in muted speech. Raising her head, she gave one final glance around before moving over to the wall of the building. Sitting down, she propped herself up against it, pulling her hood up once more and hiding her long white hair from the view of those on the streets, unless someone gave her some close scrutiny, she would appear as nothing more than a shade, her dark hands and face barely showing in the darkness. A fluid motion beside her signalled that her overlarge cat had joined her, but rather than sitting he climbed up onto her lap and looked into her eyes, his beautiful, intelligent face staring into her own. Opening her lips, a slight breath escaped them, warm, it washed over the cat who closed his eyes for but a brief moment.

The cat moved oddly, flicking his ears and shaking, spraying water over the seemingly unconscious Saku. He moved away stiffly, his paws moving rather disjointedly and getting tangled up for a few steps before he managed to sort himself out and make his way toward the water wheel. The cat’s sudden clumsiness had little to do with the cold or wet, it was more to do with Saku’s magic. Her own mind had moved into the cat’s body and he had relinquished the control of his limbs to her, leaving her body in the street in the hope no one would notice her. While the minds were melding, the movements were awkward, difficult for Saku to control until the cat could allow his instinct to flow into her, understanding flourishing through her mind. Her actions became more fluid, finally using the natural grace of the cat to her advantage, she pranced toward the water wheel and glanced at it with a large, golden eye, viewing it appraisingly.

She crouched down, her belly brushing the floor, the long black tail quivering in the air as she tensed the strong, corded muscles in her legs. With a bound, she leapt toward the wheel, large claws tearing through rotten wood as she struggled to gain a hold. The cat’s size and bulk was more of a hindrance here than a help, indeed, she had little room on the slat and what was worse, they were turning more swiftly in the heavy rain. She had little thinking time, indeed, she was nearly at the height of the wheels rise, soon she would be sinking down into the water if she didn’t make the leap. Seeing the distance, she faltered and pulled back and allowed her ally to take over. Encouraging him, the cat took control of his familiar muscles and leapt forward, easily clearing the distance and landing on the ledge of a broken window before slipping into the dark building.

Re: A Place To Stay

Post by Abmesh Gwaelei on

Abmesh was up on a dusty tabletop, in head form, his eyes flitting nervously back and forth, trying to penetrate the darkness. The sound of steadily shifting water came to him through a high window. It sounded somehow too uniform, artificial in a way. He had no idea where he was, and no recollection of how he had gotten there. Come on, use your head, old Abmesh. Where is the last place you remember seeing daylight, besides through that blasted, high-up window?

But it was no use. Straining his neurons only made the darkness cloud up, and contributed to the rolling hum that was culminating into a dull ache in the back of his skull. The desk upon which he was perched was a spartan, wooden affair, devoid of tools, lacquer or ornament of any sort. The rest of the one-room building seemed empty apart from a pile of grain sacks, and a stack of wooden crates. It was obviously some disused storage space.

The brain in that pudgy little head of his couldn't provide him any detail as to how long he had been there, or why. He didn't feel particularly hungry or thirsty, which he supposed was good, but criminy schnipps, was this place dull! And so very gloomy and gray, to make matters worse.

He hated gloomy and gray colours. Certainly, they lent his mind a sort of idyll in which he might think clearly, free of the shiny and pastel distractions of a verdant and lively world, but long and uninterrupted thinking sessions tended to make him a tad depressed.

With that in mind, it suddenly occurred to him that he might pass the time a little better in frog form. Switching in an eyeblink, he hopped down off the desk and began chasing patches of light, and smelly corners, in search of a good fly.

Re: A Place To Stay

Post by Saku on

Padding onto the sill, Saku allowed the sharper cat senses to take over, every scent sound and sight filling her mind with a clarity not born to her. The smell of dust and mildew pressed against her nose, weighted down by the heavy scent of the rain outside, the building bore ever sign of being abandoned as if forgotten by the people outside. Tiny particles of dust glimmered against the dull light from outside, shimmering in front of her of her bright cat eyes; perceiving the world so differently to her normal vision. The colours were muted, even greyer than should be expected, but where colour lacked clearness improved. Every edge was visible, every line in the darkness clear cut and all but the darkest corners revealed to her glowing eyes.

Turning her head this way and that, she opened her large, pointed ears and scanned the room; muffled thumps echoed across the room from a corner beyond her vision. Instinctively she crouched down, tail lashing behind her, slipping out into the rain and flicking water across the sill. Sliding toward the edge she peered over, her paws touching the underside of the sill, claws digging into the wood. Front legs tensing, she paused for the slightest moment, tail pointing up in the air for balance before she leapt down. A loud and solid thump echoed her landing, every kilogram of the great cat’s weight being absorbed by the powerful muscles. Stretching out to her full length she padded across the floor, moving toward the noises ahead of her, ears pressed flat against her head, tail hanging down in an effort to conceal the great bulk of the cat.

As she neared the noises, she pulled herself closer to the peeling, drab walls, eyes now fixed on the moving shape ahead. Drawing closer she observed perhaps the last thing she had expected to see, a great frog moved around in the dark, seemingly casting about for a hint of a stray fly. Mentally frowning, Saku stopped dead, the cat’s fur standing on end automatically increasing the already great bulk to something a great deal larger.

It’s huge...

Re: A Place To Stay

Post by Abmesh Gwaelei on

Abmesh was following the meandering path of one fly on the wall, and it led him to the realization that he was under the scrutiny of a rather different kind of fly on the wall. Indeed, it was more of a "gargantuan cat on the prowl". His frog mind ran on pure animal instinct, and he didn't stop to consider what the cat was doing there, or that it might be more than just a cat. Settling into his haunches, he faced the cat and lowered his forehead. A low rumbling began in his throat, warning the protrusive feline not to come any closer.

A creature this size he could probably knock out with one of his sonic attacks, but what would he do then? He still had no way to get out of the room. No, conflict was best avoided. Cats were generally faster, and had nasty claws...

But as he faced the feline, disaster struck. That same fly entered his field of vision, and all present dangers left his mind completely as he turned and began swatting at the thing with his tongue. He faced the wall and hopped from side to side, trying to corner the thing. HA!  I've got you now...

Re: A Place To Stay

Post by Saku on

The huge frog turned to face her, a guttural rumble akin to a growl announcing it’s displeasure at her approach. The roar set her on edge, tail sticking up in the air, fur sticking out like a bottlebrush. Stretching out her claws, she hissed loudly, baring her long sharp teeth in a vicious snarl. Of course, her instinct was to leap forward and slash at the great animal, the cat’s cruel claws would indeed do great damage but looking at it, she held back. Something of that size could likely do some great deal of damage it got too close and she didn’t know if she was willing to risk it.

Instead, her interest took over, it was a very unusual creature and unbelievably large, in fact she had never seen such a large frog in all her life. Sliding, paw by paw, she moved away from the wall, circling the large frog and observing it with interest. It pleased her that she could stand so close to it and seemingly it would feel no undue panic at her presence, the only other animal who had done this had been the great black Asian wildcat she was currently possessing . Taking in every detail of the frog’s flesh, her eyes glimmered with a fascinated intelligence that seemed unnatural in the cat’s eyes.

Shifting slowly from paw to paw she sidled closer, watching as the frog ate the passing fly with relish, as if it had forgotten her presence, it was so unusual for her. She cocked her head, ears flicking forward, her fur settling down a little, reducing her size by some inches.

Re: A Place To Stay

Post by Abmesh Gwaelei on

Once more noticing the presence of the cat, this time much closer, Abmesh leaped back, startled. Hitting the wall mid-leap, he fell to the floor, jostled, and rolled so that his back was to it. Once more facing the cat, he stared at it in that expressionless, bored manner exclusive to frogs. Blast, bother, hell, I'm going to get eaten here...

He suddenly noticed something odd in the cat's eyes that made him wonder. What demon is this? Perhaps a shifter? He decided that the best course of action would be to change forms and try to speak to the thing. The change was instantaneous, and he was speaking immediately.

"Now, you're not a run-of-the-mill pussycat, I'll wager. What brings you here, hmmm?"

Re: A Place To Stay

Post by Saku on

Had Saku been in her own body, she might have given a cold laugh as the frog leapt backwards, crashing into the wall however in this form she could do little more than give a slight growling ‘mrreooow’ and swish her tail in amusement, her long whiskers twitching casually. The frog’s eyes bored into her in a typical frog manner, giving her the feeling that she was little more than a minor issue that would be solved should it sit still long enough.

But it seemed that this frog wasn’t content to wait, indeed it seemed that it wasn’t even a frog at all. The change surprised Saku, a shudder of panic flicking over her cat instincts. Instantly, she leapt backward about half a metre, fur standing on end, her tail lashed furiously as she stared at the disembodied head that lay on the floor ahead of her.

How, how is it possible

Her mind raced ahead of her, no logic could sustain the fact that she had just been presented with. And yet, how could she be expected to rely on logic, she herself had surpassed what many people considered the norm, it could be just another branch of normality that she had never encountered. Her ears lying back, she refrained from hissing but her ears lay flat against her head and watched him with an interest.

He spoke, the words echoed around her mind for a moment before she could separate enough of herself from the cat to fully understand. Another issue was, she couldn’t answer. The best she could do was lash her tail and sit down, eyeing him with an interest she did not often experience. Lifting one heavy paw, she raised it in front of herself and flexed her claws slowly and purposefully. She couldn’t return any communication but perhaps she could show she was listening. Dropping her paw to the ground again she eyed him cautiously.

Re: A Place To Stay

Post by Abmesh Gwaelei on

Abmesh studied the cat with wide eyes. It seemed as though the thing couldn't talk. Could it be that this cat is just extraordinarily sentient in its mannerisms? A curiosity indeed. But it seemed to understand what he was saying, so he chose to continue speaking. Perhaps, if he explained himself to a degree, the thing wouldn't scratch his eyeballs out.

"I'm Abmesh Gwailei, structural engineer at your service. I do hope I haven't given you cause for alarm. I thought that perhaps, in this form, I would look less like a meal to you."

Back in his human form, Abmesh's focus returned, and he could hold eyes with the feline without pausing to follow flies about the room, or tweaking an ear to sounds from the outside. Yes, there's definitely something in those eyes... most remarkable.

Re: A Place To Stay

Post by Saku on

Sitting and staring at the man in front of her, she contemplated her next move. She had three options, stay and listen as a cat, regardless how difficult that would prove to her; the cat’s mind was not apt to listening to the awkward wording of a human. She could of course just walk away, turn her back and not take an interest, but this was indeed a fascinating situation, she wanted to know more about this being, and how on earth he could exist. So that only really viable option left to her was to return in her own form and listen. Of course, that would mean leaving and he may well think she was just walking away.

She paused, giving him a long, thoughtful look before fixing him with a penetrating stare. Slowly she began to feel out the edges of her own mind, seeking the joins where she had merged her own consciousness with that of the cat’s. It took her a few moments in which she entirely lost control of the cat’s body, it’s eyes closing and forelegs slumping down until it lay on the floor as if asleep. She gave a final wrench and released her mind, letting the cat return to his own body and open his eyes again, the sparkle of unnatural intelligence she had given him was gone.

Her mind drifted, seeking out for her body. Matter became of no importance, the only thing that mattered in the world of shades that she could barely perceive was the glimmer of light ahead that was her body. She stretched out her mind and grasped onto her familiar home, limbs becoming heavy, eyelids opening slowly, knocking off the rain from the end of her lashes. Slowly and stiffly from cold, she stood up, stretching out her cold legs and shaking the rain from her clock. She gave a moments pause before reaching out the tendrils of her mind to find that of her ally, fixing onto his location. She attached herself to him as best as she could, using him as an anchor as she stepped through the fabric of reality, covering the distance between her and her friend in an instant.

A tearing noise filled the air inside the mill as Saku rent open the fabric of reality and dropped through, landing lightly in a crouching position beside the great cat, using her own eyes to scan around in the darkness. It was as if she had never seen the place before. Though the light outside had not been great, in here she could barely see, only the light from the stars and moon outside sifted through the roof and the few high windows. It took her a few moments before she could focus on the darker spot before her, making out the face of the man she had seen before. Now she could make more of his features, her violet eyes recognising now, rather than just seeing.

Still crouching, she placed her left hand on the cat at her side, running her black tipped fingers through the cat’s fur, her claws scratching the places he loved dearly. He purred at her presence and rubbed himself against her, the size of a medium dog, he could have knocked her over if he pushed hard enough. Even while she stroked the cat, her right hand moved up and pushed back her hood, revealing her long white dreadlocks, hanging partially over her charcoal face.

”Hello...”

Her voice sounded unnatural, unused for the most part, it was little more than a whisper but the word carried a disquieting tone that gave chills to many, making the hairs stand up on many a person’s neck. It betrayed her awkwardness she felt around people, when she wasn’t maiming or working she didn’t really know how to behave with people and this was one of those situations she would have to try and speak without cruelty.

Re: A Place To Stay

Post by Abmesh Gwaelei on

As the cat seemed to strain and then go limp for a second, Abmesh wondered briefly if he had shocked it in some severe way. He wasn't all that fond of cats, truth be told, but he still felt a twinge of guilt. But no, there's more to it than that, he though as the cat returned to normal. Only now, the thing seemed more... feral, perhaps? He couldn't be sure. Chewing on his fat lower lip nervously, he eyed the now-savage creature before him. What on earth is going on?

And just when he thought things couldn't get any weirder, one of the most terrifying women he had ever seen decided to drop in out of thin air and pay them a visit. As usual, it did not take Abmesh long to develop an immediate affection for the fearsome female. It happened some time between her letting her unusual hair down, and saying "hello". Staring up at her with an odd mixture of reverence and distinct unease, he then noticed that same glimmer in the eyes, now saturated in chilling shades of black and violet. Could it be?

"Well, I must admit, this is as heady an encounter for me as it is for you. It would seem I've started quite the trend in my suddenly turning human. I trust I do not need to repeat the name?"

Re: A Place To Stay

Post by Saku on

The disquiet that showed in the recently introduced Abmesh Gwaelei made the very corners of Saku’s black lips turn up as she examined him cautiously. Using a clawed hand, she pushed the long dreadlock out of her eyes, a cascading of clinking rattled behind her from silver rings at the bottoms of her locks. The slightest stirring sent another ringing of silver echoing around the mill as she cocked her head to one side, still crouching.

”No...I don’t feel you do.” But then again, could she be sure. After all, she listened to things differently. In fact, it took her nearly twenty seconds of silence before she could utter. ”Abmesh Gwaelei.” It was simply a statement, but it had taken a long time to decipher the information from the sounds she had received in the cats mind, for they meant very little to his ears, only her voice rang with a clarity to make much sense.

”I think perhaps...” Another clamouring silence fell from her lips before she continued. ”That you would not have presented much of a meal, regardless of your shape. A frog of that size is... more trouble than it’s worth.” Moving now with graceful ease, she sat back on her haunches and pulled the wet cloak from her shoulders, casting it over the nearest table and dropped her pack to the floor. Underneath she wore her typical leather armour, her knives hung at a belt at her side and her quiver was strapped on her back, underneath her cloak to protect the arrows and bow from the wet.

”It may be rude to ask, I don’t know, but what are you?” Saku’s knowledge of manners had, for the most part, been acquired from books rather than experience. She spent as little as possible time in the company of others unless they happened to be the ones she would be ‘working with’. ”I suppose if I am worrying about manners, my name is necessary. It’s Saku.” She added, matter-of-factly.

Re: A Place To Stay

Post by Abmesh Gwaelei on

My, my, she's a saucy one, Abmesh thought as he gazed up at her with starry eyes and increasing admiration.

A frog of that size is... more trouble than it’s worth."


Abmesh chuckled. "Madam, you don't know the half of it. You have no idea how many times I've gone off on an aimless, fly-hunting wander, only to end up asking myself where the devil I am. I suspect that now is one of those occasions, though I can't be too certain of that."

The inspiring and baleful woman before him then asked him a rather more difficult question. What was he?

The disembodied head wrung his lips and furrowed his brow as he mulled it over. "I'm not exactly sure, truth be told. I understood from an early age that I was different from the other children. Of course, I couldn't quite put my finger on it, seeing as I had none. These days, I like to think of myself as an inventor of sorts. They say I have a head for it."

He cocked himself to the side before adding, "You know, your hair positively thrums with silvery harmony, as though it were shaking from it the unworthy celestial heavendust that has clung to it for so long, perhaps in hopes of shining all the brighter. Saku... a lovely name, it is. And what, if you don't mind my asking, does such a lovely lady, with such a lovely name, fill her time with? Something terribly exciting, no doubt."

A lingering air of menace did, indeed, rest in the corners of Abmesh's mind, but he could not keep his mind clear of infatuation for long enough to attribute it to the woman before him. Indeed, if anything, he was more likely to attribute it to the cat, and would undoubtedly have bounced awkwardly to the woman's defense if he suspected he saw a claw raised in malevolence against her.

Re: A Place To Stay

Post by Saku on

Again, the dark corners of her lips turned up in what was the largest smile she tended to reveal, her violet eyes softening a little from pure distrust simply to doubt. She was suspicious of everyone, she had very few people she could trust, and none of those would call her a friend. It was a novel idea to her, for someone to speak to her so politely, no ever did, she had been chased out of town more than once.

”I can imagine that is quite easy to do, I can appreciate prey can be... quite distracting.” She herself had experienced something similar. When using the cat’s body she became prone to chasing rats, mice, birds, just about any animal smaller than her and it became the all important point, very little could distract her from the chase. ”I have suffered a from similar problem.”

”Currently...” She moved uncomfortably, one of her legs going into crap, she lowered herself down to sit and stretched out the one leg, the other pulled close meaning she could leap up at a moment’s notice. The huge cat at her side glanced at her, content she was relaxed and moved off, sniffing the floor to pick of the trails of the resident rats, leaping off to hunt. Saku’s eyes followed him for a few moments before returning to Gwaelei.

”Currently, we are in a mill at the west side of the industrial district.” She glanced around the drab building, checking the leaks. The rain was pounding outside, a draft moving through the broken windows, it made Saku pull her cloak around her shoulders again.

When he spoke again she turned back to listen and his words amazed her. He was eloquent beyond those she had spoken to before and what he said, she had never been spoken to so kindly. Her eyebrows knitted together for a moment as she looked at him as with new eyes.

”You speak too kindly. Thank you.” She tried to recall paragraphs from the books she had read when she had first come to the city ”I am... I...” She hesitated, thinking of the best way to phrase what she did accurately. ”I am a mercenary I suppose. I do what people hire me to do.” one hand twirled a white lock of hair, the other, her claws tapped on the floor slowly. ”It could be called exciting, I suppose...What about you? You are an engineer?”

Re: A Place To Stay

Post by Abmesh Gwaelei on

Industrial district? Oh dear... "You mean the one in Marn? Well, that's a bloody mess, isn't it... Odds are I was planning on meeting someone in town, and ended up wandering off. Or perhaps I already met with them... Blast this memory of mine."

Smacking his lips in a way that suggested that he was disappointed with himself, he rolled up on one ear, then popped his jaw and swiveled so that he was up on the other ear, and in this manner, made his way to the dusty table from which he had descended earlier. Strung up on one of the legs was a pouch of tobacco. He couldn't remember if it was his or not, though he sort of doubted it. In fact, he couldn't remember if he had given up smoking or not... Regardless, he was going to have one now.

He listened as he prepared a rolled cigarette, displaying impressive skill with his lips by curling the paper and using it to scoop up the dull brown, loose-cut herb. He then pressed and rolled the paper from one end to the other, tucking it into his cheek, and sealing it with his saliva. A mercenary, eh? Well, there's something you don't meet every day...

What about you? You are an engineer?”


Abmesh thought for only a second before replying, speaking out of the side of his mouth as he looked about for matches. "Yes, engineer is a good word for it. I'm not really a hands-on type, as you may have noticed, but I can draw up a damned fine blueprint, and get someone else to make it. Why, was there something you needed? Or have you been sent to do away with me? Alas, my life has finally come to a head..."

Re: A Place To Stay

Post by Saku on

She gave the smallest of laughs as she listened to him talk, his voice was reassuring but it did not put her at ease. Her muscles were still tense, like a cat ready to spring, in case she was confronted with some as of yet unknown danger. It amazed her that this man could speak so freely and kindly to her and show no sign of disgust, hatred or repulsion normally shown by other humans. The aura of malice around her could turn away even the kindest of folk.

”I’m sure they’ll forgive you if you have missed it, if you haven’t I’m sure the memory will return soon. Perhaps once you get some fresh air.” Hey violet eyes widened as she watched him move, deftly rolling himself a cigarette with his mouth. She could only just conceal her astonishment at his amazing dexterity, stopping herself from staring obviously, she composed herself back to her normal, expressionless self.

Watching him looking around, she assumed for matches, she slipped her hand back into her pack and drew a box of matches she tended to carry with her, who knew when you might need a fire quickly. ”I had an idea I might have needed an engineer for, but I don’t have the money to see it through right now. I may perhaps have work for you later, which should qualify that you are not my target. I don’t... socialise with my marks.” The multiple puns had made her smile slightly even as she spoke.

”Here.” She lit the match and moved toward him, stopping a little way away with her arm outstretched, lit match between her black fingers, offering him the light for his smoke. She held her distance even now but made the gesture in an attempt to show some friendliness.




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