THE St. Louis Speakeasy
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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: A Quien Dios Ama, Le Llama [Dvorak!]
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:25 pm GMT 
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Four days.

Four days before the spells he cast regained the greater part of their usual intensity. Before he could walk and move about without exhausting himself. On their last day, they left the confines of the cave which had become so familiar, and spent the daylight hours walking quietly across the tundra, hand in hand. It was quiet here, and so beautiful. Sunlight shimmered off long stretches of untouched white snow. Here and there it was interrupted by a rushing, ice-cold stream, or a patch of tawny winter grass peppered with wild flowers the color of fire. In the long shadows of evening, illuminated by the setting sun, they made it look as though the whole tundra was aflame.

They walked back together in silence as a chill wind picked up, ruffling the furs slung over their shoulders for warmth. It was good to breathe fresh air again.

They returned to the cave just as the sun skimmed the western horizon. They'd killed rabbits earlier, and together they skinned them using the fine sharp knives they carried in their packs. Seated side by side on the rocky floor, they cast sidelong glances and smiled. When they kissed, they smudged one another's faces with animal blood. That night the stars were unimaginably bright. Smelling of woodsmoke and one another, they went out into the snow and lay together, watching the black sky turn on its axis.

In the morning, they left for England.

They had chosen a discrete country road as the site of their first arrival. Sascha had been gone for two years, so although he arrived with no expectations, he still carried images of this land in his memory. Which is to say, he had expected neither the long coils of barbed wire along the road, nor the military watchtower and checkpoint which loomed over the sparse trees just around the next bend. Immediately, he slipped back into the protective shadow of the trees, dropping to a crouch. Without even looking at Raphael, he knew their reactions were the same, their movements instantaneous and coordinated.

It appeared that, at least for the time being, they had not been spotted.

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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: A Quien Dios Ama, Le Llama [Dvorak!]
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:24 pm GMT 
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He had never made it as far as the UK; he's rarely wandered off the continent. Whilst a growing part of him determined it would be better to cut his losses and make for an escape, consciously he knew; leave and Ignaz would track him, would put him under ice and cease even the motion of pretending Raphael's life was his own to live. That, and how could he leave that place forever and let another life rot there. Not that Sadcha had ever owned him, but he was bound, in his own way.

The other boy haunted him. It was for his sake that he never made it east of Spain.

He had heard reports of course, but they were spoken with a modicum of respect. As the rest of the world threatened to crumble, the UK stood strong; its borders barred, it's social structure held in tight and unyielding order. He'd heard the odd mention of someone named "Pitt"-- the man who apparently lead his country through the greatest cultural revolution in less than two years.

Evidently, he thought grimly as the miles of wire glittered in the pale morning light, to great expense.

From here they could see the pace of the guards; their breaths pluming out like smoke from a wood-fire.

"<A little overkill for farmland.>" he murmured to his companion. They'd already drawn their masks up; their lungs wouldn't betray them here. "<The Frenchman said that the HQ would be a good ten K. from here. Think they relocated nearer the river?>"

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: A Quien Dios Ama, Le Llama [Dvorak!]
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:06 pm GMT 
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"<The river?>" Sascha's brow creased.

Having spoken, he fell silent. His gaze drifted back to the wire, the guards, the watchtower rising up in stark gray against the pale sky and watery sunlight. It was objectively grim and yet, more than anything, it was still surreal to him. After all, this was only his fifth day out in the world. His training was more than strong enough to carry him through, but his conscious mind buzzed with distraction: trees; fog; roads. He'd forgotten, in a way, that the world as he had known it was comprised of these things. Now it was like remembering a dream. Or rather, like waking up after a dream so vivid and real it displaces you. A dream of ice that had lasted two years.

Visible above the mask, his eyes had taken on the focused, distant look they bore when he was concentrating on a task that required some particularly strategic thinking. He mulled it over for a few seconds, then shook his head.

"<Doubt it. Too vulnerable to bioterror, aquatic assault. My money's on the high ground.>"

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"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: A Quien Dios Ama, Le Llama [Dvorak!]
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:57 am GMT 
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"<Let's go with that.>"

Raphael sharply flicked his wrist to the right, and a map fine as spider silk materialised in his palm. Two dots glowed faintly; their positions. Beyond them were markings of the woodland and the rise and fall of the land. Now as Raphael scanned the area with quick flickers of his eyes, new lines began to be laid down. The long lines of barbed wire and the gatehouses that stood watchful-- even each visible guard was given his own marking, which continued to pace to and fro.

"<Highest spot of land's at 3o'clock, another couple of kilometres.>" He rested back on his heels, fingers grazing the holster at his belt.

He glanced a look at his companion. It was strange, almost, seeing him here. After all, he had ever only seen him on the playing field, in class, in their coffin of ice. They had never ventured into the world beyond sancturies together. Perhaps, out of all of them, Cassidy had been the only one to do so. The grit and the bitter winds suited the other man. He liked Sascha like this. Keen as a whetted knife, just as cold.

The patrols were thick, and to the minute. They were probably strong; if this was indeed the headquarters of the Ministry of Intelligence, the men and women on those walls would be devastatingly effective.

But they both had the weight of Ignaz' personal tutelage on their shoulders; with curses devised by him and counterless to anyone who had not lived a life bound on ice and snow.

"<Can't make a scene. If we split,>" he said, eyes focused on those roving dots, "<We could meet there in an hour and a half, tops.>"

It would be the first time they would be separated by more than a thought and a couple of steps in two years. But there were no chinks in the armour ahead of them that would allow two.

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: A Quien Dios Ama, Le Llama [Dvorak!]
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:20 am GMT 
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Whatever Sascha might have felt about the situation, his training had taken over now, focusing him on the task at hand. And even if he'd had a clear sense of his own emotions, he lacked the vocabulary to express it. He had fallen out of the habit of all talk--that sort of talk, doubly so. Ignaz had burned the weakness out of him with the corrosive acid of a father's love. Physically, he was prepared and sound. He understood the plan they'd formulated and considered it the best option open to them. Therefore, he was ready; no other variables figured into this calculation.

Nevermind that he was knew to this world; nevermind the separation the plan would entail. Nevermind the fact that, despite his training, he had never done this before in earnest. There was only one way to go, and that was forward. That was how it had always been.

He nodded to Raphael. Above the seam of the mask, his eyes were keen and hard. Briefly, he reached out and gripped Raphael's shoulder. Then, half-rising from the crouch, he faded back against the trees and slipped away. The colors of trees and shadows played over him, concealing the lines and contours of his form to all but the most focused gaze. Only once did he stop and look back over his shoulder. Then he disappeared into the dry wintry underbrush, skirting the perimeter, heading Northwest.

He kept his eyes forward, focused. From the periphery of his vision, he tracked their movements. Unconsciously, he was counting: heartbeats, footsteps, trajectories. He knew Raphael would be doing the same.

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"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: A Quien Dios Ama, Le Llama [Dvorak!]
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:45 am GMT 
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Above all, the scent of rotting leaves almost overwhelmed him. They were piled in great drifts against the banks of the roads, where, dank and sweet, the smell of them rolled out throughout the forest in air a little too cold to be autumn. The sky was a cold slate grey, but it's colour darkened now and the failing sun cast lengthening shadows through the naked trees. For all its colourlessness, it was very alive. It was a long call from the lifeless salt-flats Ignaz had called home and they had hissed "prison".

At times the guards passed close, leaving the echo of the suck of their boots in the mud and the occasional snatch of laughter, or complaint. If it was a woman's voice, he tended to fall utterly still. The men he could treat a little more lightly, poor bastards. He still remembered the warmth of Ignaz Dautzenburg's hands, so much so that even now when a guard passed with a dark head of hair, those threads of silver-- courtesy of the frost of stress and age, or ice settled in-- he found himself strangely distracted, like a pine marten slinking through fowl. Not quite enough to necessarily make a mistake. Ignaz would have disapproved.

Then again, Ignaz was dead.


An hour and fifteen minutes later, a young captain hitched his standard-issue a little higher over his shoulder. The strap had already received its first layer of frost, and ice broke from it to cling to his uniform with every step he took. His cloak had already frozen, with each fold in the cloth stubbornly held in place by the cold. For perhaps the first time, Wizards had become accustomed to temperatures below freezing, for it seemed that in this new world there were snows even the hottest fire couldn't melt.

His boots dragged to a halt before a small side entrance to the Institute. Miles behind him glinted the coiled barbed wire of the front lines of the defence, and beneath him even now enchantments glimmered in the deep earth. The door before him was thick and unyielding, with a detection device that purred softly to the left. It adjusted itself to the level of his face, but he didn't access it quite yet. He pulled the the mask a little higher over his nose, a few locks of dark hair escaping his helmet. He looked up at the sky above which was, he mused, so curiously empty of birds. The temperature would have to be endured. He had a private to wait for, after all. From the slits of the mask across his face his eyes glittered a cold and sharp silver.

Fifteen minutes.

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: A Quien Dios Ama, Le Llama [Dvorak!]
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:37 am GMT 
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He wouldn't have long to wait.

The figure who approached him, cutting a sharp silhouette even in the gray light of evening, was unmistakably Sascha. In any case, it should have been unmistakable: his height, build, and as he drew closer, the dark gray gleam of his eyes as they caught the dying sun. Yet there was something so martial in his posture, his stride, that even a familiar onlooker might feel a momentary twinge of doubt.

But of course, he was a soldier now. Or something near to one.

He, too, was subject to certain temptations, of course. This late in the year, ice crusted the frigid earth. He could feel the pull and tingle of it in his fingertips, as though it was calling to him. He'd become a creature of the cold, and the ice exerted a siren song of its own, after a fashion, hungry to be wielded and reshaped by hands so intimately familiar with winter.

He'd fed it with only a taste of the blood it craved: just enough to whet its appetite. For now there was work to be done.

Seeping heat from behind the mask, his breath did not cloud in the thick air. He did not feel the biting cold.

He stopped a few feet away and gave a rigid salute which might have seemed faintly ironic under other circumstances.

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"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: A Quien Dios Ama, Le Llama [Dvorak!]
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:58 pm GMT 
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His salute was returned with a somewhat more nonchalant one, more of a tip of a frost-beaten cap than anything. Then again, what captain needs to bow to a mere foot soldier? Out of the two of them, one still felt the cold, and as much as they had trained themselves to love it rather than buckle under its weight, it didn't mean it couldn't make his very marrow ache. And, usually, he had some measure of pain to keep his body supple. This time he had only a little trace of it beneath the uniform, but not nearly enough. Sascha always knew just how much was needed.

It was good to see him again. Time and reunion wasn't a luxury they could afford now, though, and so when he arrived he merely hailed him and turned towards that humble scanner. With two fingers he drew the sleeve of his jacket down, and his wrist just enough to expose the skin to the trembling red light that peered from the narrow security slot. Beneath the frost there was a glimpse of something blue.

The retinal scanner beeped twice, and with a hiss the door slid open. Hot air met their faces, and they were drawn in and away from the painful grip of winter outside. Behind them the door locked with another groan, but not before frost graced the doorway like exquisite lace.

He drew down the mask from his lower face, though his eyes remained shielded behind the thick military-issue cloth.

"<Heard them mentioned the South Wing contained Coordination. Otherwise barracks is in East.>"

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: A Quien Dios Ama, Le Llama [Dvorak!]
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:18 pm GMT 
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His eyes traveled over the interior walls. Industrial-looking. Metal and concrete and stone washed over with military-grade paint. He'd forgotten the existence of a world that contained things like electrical panels and conduits and vents. His only walls had been made of ice for a very long time. He was foreign here, an intruder in more ways than one. Two years has passed since he'd last set foot in the world that had given him up for dead. Its heat was strange to him, unleashing a muted claustrophobia that crawled across his skin.

His eyes snapped back to Raphael. He'd gathered the same information--or rather, had extracted it. He nodded, just once.

"<Lead on.>"

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"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


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