[Alheas Park] Meetings and Machinations (Madeira)

Rodel may not be as alone in the park as he thinks he is.

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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[Alheas Park] Meetings and Machinations (Madeira)

Postby Rodel Intaercis on December 3rd, 2018, 7:56 am


4th of Winter, 518 AV


Rodel picked his way through one of the many meandering paths through the Alheas Park. As he stepped, he made sure not to disturb any of the diverse and sometimes delicate flora that made this place its home. He didn't walk alone, at least, not to his own eyes. One of his hallucinations walked with him.

"That woman at the Gazette is up to something. She lures you back there day after day with promises of money. Isn't that suspicious? She probably wants to kill you."

Rodel checked behind him to make sure there was nobody within earshot. He was perfectly aware that nobody could hear the phantom figure's words, despite how real they sounded to him. His replies however would be much more noticeable.

“She’s my boss, I work there. You know as well as I,” Rodel said, turning to meet the paranoid figure’s eyes. He was in the form of a rather thin weasel-looking man. He had manifested this way since he had first appeared to Rodel after he had learned to meditate. That was when the hallucinations had started to take shapes other than formless shadows and terrible monsters made of darkness. The wiry man--Ratface, as Rodel had taken to calling him in his own mind--snorted with derision.

“The perfect way to lure somebody into a trap, like offering a rabbit a tasty morsel before snapping its neck in a snare.” The apparition circled Rodel as he spoke. Rodel turned where he stood to hold Ratface’s gaze, refusing to lower his eyes. He knew he wasn’t supposed to speak to his hallucinations, every master of meditation he had ever worked with had told him as much. He still did it though, he couldn’t help himself sometimes. He did hold fast to one of the rules they had given him though. He could never show subservience to them. His mind was his own domain, and he couldn’t afford to give them any more purchase on it than they already had.

“What would you have me do then? I need to work for someone unless you would have me starve.”

“Run to the wilds. Everyone here has plans, plans everywhere… We need to go away, far away where they can’t touch us.”

“Take your own advice then, run to the wilds and leave me be in my own head!” Ratface didn’t answer. None of the hallucinations ever acknowledged when he confronted them with their own reality.

“She treats you like a street brat anyway. Always barking instructions at you like you’re barely worth her notice. You should cast her aside,” called out another voice. Rodel pivoted on his heel to face a taller stocky figure. He called this one Meathead. He wasn’t surprised it had shown up. When he talked to one, the others always came.

“And how does that differ from what you do?” Rodel asked the hallucination.

“I have your interests in mind.”

“More so than she?”

“Of course!”

“Why should I trust you in saying that?”

“I have known you far longer.”

“Yet you have helped me far less.”

Meathead snarled, eyes burning with the anger always present in his countenance. Ratface paced behind Rodel, his mutterings a constant backdrop to the conversation.

“I have never left your side, while she values you as much as the dirt beneath her heel!”

“She values me as much as the Kina she pays me. No more, no less,” Rodel replied. “You on the other hand have never given me anything worthwhile. How am I supposed to interpret that in regard your value for me?”

“Clever words, clever words…” Ratface rasped. “You may think yourself smart but there’s always someone smarter.”
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[Alheas Park] Meetings and Machinations (Madeira)

Postby Madeira Craven on December 8th, 2018, 2:47 am

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Madeira hummed as she picked her way through Alheas park, dogging the steps of her young ghostly charge. Little Emma had her head down and eyebrows knit in concentration as she scoured the grasses for the last of the fall wildflowers.

"There!" the ghost peeped quietly, pointing to a little cluster of bright blue Jasao in the shelter of a ravenous rose bush.

Dutifully, the Spiritist stooped to pluck the pretty weed that had escaped the diligent Lhavit gardeners. By now she had a nice little bouquet of blue, white and yellow. The fall blooms seemed to have taken over Lhavit when the winter frosts had failed to come again this year. At least Emma was having some fun with it. The bouquet was for Raj, the beheaded Kelvic who's head that sat resplendent on Madeira's wall. They would have hunted for the blooms on her own property, but the expanding consciousness in the Infinity Manor did not take kindly to having its great kaleidoscope of a garden ruined by flower poachers, so the two were taking a walk in the park to both stretch Madeira's stiff legs and hunt for pretty flowers.

Madeira massaged her knuckles into the small of her back as she straightened, feeling the strain from the swollen belly she carried. Emma was already ahead hunting for more flowers, her bare toes skimming the ground as she puttered around. Madeira followed at a distance, her hum breaking into a soft song under her breath.

"Go down you blood red roses go down
Go down you blood red roses go down
Oh, you pinks and posies
Go down you blood red roses go down"

She wasn't self conscious about being overheard, as they seemed to be alone in the park. It was late into the afternoon rest, and most were asleep or enjoying their leisure time in the warm comfort of the indoors. But the dead didn't rest, and Madeira was bundled up in the warmth of a white fur cloak and long gloves, the two of them were enjoying this time alone.

That was, until she heard voices coming up the path. The peaceful air rushed away as a clear argument was heard around the nearest bend.

“Why should I trust you in saying that?” a deep, masculine voice demanded of another. Yet after a beat of silence he seemed to answer himself. “Yet you have helped me far less.”

Emma had heard the voice too. The two shared an equally mystified look before the shy ghost drifted back to Madeira to partly conceal herself behind her skirts. And as the Spiritist rounded the corner, she did indeed see something strange. A grown man of age with herself, in the full garb of the local law enforcement, was arguing animatedly with thin air. He was lean and tall, with a muscular tone showing through the tight bandages around his forearms and shins. He was clean shaven and light skinned, with a crop of neatly shortened hair. He would have been wholly unremarkable, if it wasn't for his overbright, exhausted eyes.

“She values me as much as the Kina she pays me. No more, no less", he was explaining to no one. "You on the other hand have never given me anything worthwhile. How am I supposed to interpret that in regard your value for me?”

At that Madeira cleared her throat to announce her presence. She didn't looked confused at what she had seen, or even surprised. Her pale eyes were flashing as cold as the rope of diamonds around her neck.

"I don't imagine the Shinya approve of their members being on hallucinogenic drugs on patrol, you idiot." She huffed, striding closer, full of indignant fury as she brandished her bouquet at him. "Gods, there was a murder in this very park just last season! I have half a mind to report you! You..."

Suddenly Madeira paused, squinting at the Shinya, as she realized that something was wrong here. She was a partaker of drugs herself in her younger years, and she would return to the habit again given a supplier and half a chance. She knew what it felt like under the influence and she knew what others looked like under the influence. This man was showing none of the symptoms she recognized. If anything, he looked harried and frustrated and beyond tired.

This is not induced madness, she realized belatedly. This is something else. There was something very Alvadas about him and his situation. Her bouquet dropped to her side and her posture changed as she eyed him with a kind of enigmatic wonder. Something in the back of her head purred as it woke to this discovery; had she found a mad Shinya?

"You're not on drugs, are you... Oh, how embarrassing, I apologize." Madeira smiled sheepishly, her free hand cupping the red burn in her cheek. Behind her the gruesome little ghost was nothing more than a flicker, having dematerialized to almost nothing in the face of a stranger. "Is something wrong? You seem... agitated with your hallucination."
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