Vindico

Full Version: don't knock me down [evike]
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<p><font style="color: #7fc2c8;"><em>Why not?</em></font> Lux asked herself as she stood at the base of the mountain with her head tilted back, her eyes traveling steadily up the rockface until the rest of the great landmark disappeared somewhere above the clouds. This thing was the epicenter – she could see it in the distance no matter where she went – and the Ealith could bet that the view was simply astounding once she made it to the top.</p>
<p>But that was half an hour ago. Trudging up a particularly precarious path, Lux found her retractable claws to be a particular blessing, and she ensured she kept them unsheathed to provide her with better grip against the untrustworthy rocks around her, her jaws slacked open and her tongue lolling out with the exertion. Thank the gods that the sun wasn’t out, but she’d still do anything for a nice pair of wings right about now.</p>
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Her wings ached so badly that Evike very nearly wished she were rid of them, clinging to the mountainside as she attempted to relax the knotted muscles. Down was just as difficult as up, if not more so - after all she'd flown most of the way to the peak while being forced to stay mostly to walking on the way down.

It did not help that the mountain was no longer neutral territory, and that she had aversions to encountering its new inhabitants. Perhaps they were kind as a majority, but then again perhaps they were liars. She didn't care to take that gamble, not without her strength. All that aside, she had to appreciate their absurd determination as it was no easy thing to live up here, she was certain. Either they were all winged and worried not about navigating the sharp stones and sheer cliffs with their own four paws, or they were immensely agile.
There also existed the possibility that they were simply a stubborn, stupid lot, of course... But Evike found no reason to insult the family of the fawn-colored female, despite her extremely obvious questions.

<I>Shit.</I> Her eyes narrowed as the familiar sounds of another climber met her ears - scrabbling paws and scattering stones punctuated the silence. Hunkering down against the rock face, she attempted to appear less obvious though doubted her efforts - the sun was shining and she was a spray of color laced with ink-black stripes, practically sweltering as the air trapped beneath her wings began to heat up. A soft growl, barely a vibration in her throat, touched her lips as the colorful female came into view. Evike's lips turned down into a frown as her ears flattened back against her head, preparing to be faced as an intruder and possibly forced to flee. That would only make the circumstances more perfect, she thought bitterly. <I>Come at me,</I> she insisted in silent thought, nails tensing into the stone. <I>Come on.</I>
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<p>She slipped once, cursing under her breath, squeezing her eyes shut as she waited to see if this would be the moment she plummeted to her doom. Her footing held firm, however, and with a shaky breath she glanced up, noting a ledge within reach and an unfamiliar scent drifting down. Perhaps it was one of the mountain’s residents – Lux was beginning to note some distinct markers as she climbed, but it was far too late to just turn back now. </p>
<p>A few more steps and she heaved herself up so that the top half of her head cleared the rock that was blocking her view of a winged wolf, clinging to the mountainside and looking prepared for the inevitable. Lux shrank back slightly in her surprise, her reaction reined in by the circumstances as her claws dug harsher into the stone, body tensing. <font style="color: #7fc2c8; font-variant: small-caps;"><b>“Please don’t throw me off, it’s taken me forever to make it this far,” </b></font> She sighed, a hint of a plea in her voice. If this stranger fell, she had <i>far</i> more of a chance at saving herself than Lux ever would. </p>
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Lux's reaction was unexpected to say the least, leaving Evike at a momentary loss as she studied the Ealith at length. Hardly more than a yearling, by her estimations, the girl seemed just as upset, maybe even afraid as she was of the meeting, practically begging the mage for pardon when she'd expected accusations and venom. Confusion smothered the rumble in her throat, causing her to draw up some, as if trying to get a better angle on the struggling mountain climber, opening her wings to release a bit of heat while further bulking out her silhouette, discouraging any sudden mood swings or misguided efforts at violence. A distinct interest had brightened her face as she took notice of the sparks racing along the girl's horns, delighting internally at the appearance of another magic user, especially one in an element she had yet to study.

Carefully, Evike closed the distance between herself and the yellow wolf clinging to the rock face, head tilting to the side as she peered down at her. "Throw you off?" The mage asked as if the words had been unclear, or her language alien and indecipherable. In truth, it hadn't occurred to Evike that things without wings had to worry about such things, as they had no way of escaping gravity's lusty grasp. "Nobody is going to throw you off." Tutting, she patted the rock with one pad, her nails clicking softly off the stone. "Can you make it up? Or should I help you?" The kaddain might not have been any larger than the girl, though she didn't look as though she weighed too much - surely if need be she could help hoist her up. In the mean time, she allowed the young climber some room, standing to the side so she could maneuver her way onto the ledge.
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<p>Relief claimed the young Ealith's face - she wasn't normally one to be so quick to trust, but in this particular situation, Lux didn't have many other options to choose from. As the winged woman moved a bit closer, Lux pressed herself closer against the mountain, her unsheathed claws hooking precariously into the tiny indents of the stone. <font style="color: #7fc2c8; font-variant: small-caps;"><b>"That's great news,"</b></font> She spoke slowly with measured breaths, as if the effort to use normal conversation would cause her limbs to give up their purchase against the rocks.</p> <p> At Evike's question Lux tilted her head slightly, her eyes rolling up to inspect the few potential footholds, and she carefully raised a forepaw with a shaky exhale to begin to pull her upper half up, <font style="color: #7fc2c8; font-variant: small-caps;"><b>"I think-"</b></font> This was more precarious than she thought, and the yearling gritted her teeth as she hauled up her weight to the next hold, her hind limbs beginning to shiver from the exertion as she reached for the ledge that served as a perch for her newest acquaintance.</p> <p> <font style="color: #7fc2c8; font-variant: small-caps;"><b>"-I've got it,"</b></font> At last, she draped the majority of her body over the outcrop, catching her breath for a moment before she sought to fold one hind limb up beneath her and hook it over the ledge - and as she did so, a portion loosed, leaving her to kick out a sliver of rock and her hind limb to flail into empty air. The force nearly pulled her down completely, and Lux's horns lit up with sparks as she gasped, scrabbling for an instant before she practically <i>threw</i> herself at the winged wolf's feet, her tail draped limply over the side as she laid panting on her stomach, her eyes squeezed shut while she fought to calm her hammering heart.</p>
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In a rustle of feathers, the mage's wings rose up over her head in instinctual surprise when the rock face gave way, lurching forward to snatch the girl by the scruff, only to hesitate when electricity arced about her skull, almost in the effect of a halo. Could she support that much weight with her telekinesis? Unlikely. Oddly enough, Evike found herself heartened at the prospect of this stranger's death, even vaguely distraught that there was nothing she could do to help. Funny how fickle perspective could be, especially when dealing with others.

To her relief, the ealith landed at her feet in a fit of heaving gasps and frayed nerves - she very nearly could have cooed in delight at this turn of events, lowering her wings so they partially shaded the girl, dropping her head down so her nose hovered a good paw width above the other's muzzle. The crackle of electricity that charged the yearling's body kept her from following through with a celebratory nose lick, though she lingered there for a brief moment as if to capitalize on the fact that she <I>wanted</I> to. Paired with a conflicted whine-growl, there was evidence abound that something (perhaps the pleading) had put their meeting off to a good start.
And here she thought that she'd be driven away.

Reclining back into a comfortable sit, Eve allowed her wings to remain unfurled, the cool winds bleeding away the overwhelming heat that have been growing with them tucked about her so closely. "You made it." Not that she needed not be told, but since when had something being so obvious stopped anyone from pointing it out anyway?

Strangely giddy, Evike suppressed her laughter into a breathy chuckle, reaching out experimentally with one paw to touch at the girl's white toes. "Now what?" She posed the question mid-reach, waiting and watching for some reaction, some sign of life from the very likely traumatized mountain climber. "What were you hoping to find?" Bracing for the shock, her muscles tightened and her jaws clamped shut as not to catch her tongue - anticipation stretched out the fraction of a second leading up to the moment of truth.

Perhaps if she did receive a jolt it would be cathartic. One could only hope.
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<p>She knew good and well - from countless previous experiences - that there was electricity abound about her entire body, reacting to her distress and beginning to filter away through her fur as she began to relax once more. Aware of a new source of shade, Lux cracked open the lid of her yellowed-out eye, the pale pupil rolling back to make out the silhouette of Evike, who had leaned down momentarily but Lux couldn't quite figure out for what reason just yet. </p> <p>Her whine weakly pricked the yearling's ears, just barely processing her question and not quite back into the state of recovery from her near-death experience to properly warn the mage of possible repercussions to her touch. <font style="color: #7fc2c8; font-variant: small-caps;"><b>"Ah- I'm... I'm not su--"</b></font>Seeking anything and everything to ground themselves to, a few of the sparks that still remained leaped instantly to Evike upon contact - minute of course, but no doubt startling for anyone unfamiliar with the sensation.</p> <p>With her eyes rounding out in brief horror, Lux scrambled to a sit with her tail tucked in close, that tell-tale <i>bzzt</i> noise alerting her clearly. <font style="color: #7fc2c8; font-variant: small-caps;"><b>"Oh no, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to, really, it just <i>happens</i>,"</b></font> Her words were laced with an apologetic whine, leaning away enough to ensure that it didn't happen again. Any <i>true</i> danger had probably passed, but there was renewed frustration in her lack of control. <font style="color: #7fc2c8; font-variant: small-caps;"><b>"A-are you alright?"</b></font></p><br />
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As the current jumped from Lux to her, her wings shuddered and jerked, head tucking down to her chest with a grunt as her shoulders rolled up about her chin automatically. When the moment passed, she noted with some disdain, that the electricity had only jarred her. Her thoughts remained intact, if not a bit hazy about the edges. "More alright than I expected to be," she assured, strangely good-natured in tone. With a shake of her head, she rose to her feet and loosely tucked her wings, bending down to lick her toes experimentally, tasting for singe while soothing the bright pain of an entry point. "No harm done, quit your fretting. Come; sit away from the edge." With a small wave of one magnificent wing, she ushered the girl to move further in on the stone shelf, as if inviting her to make herself at home in her den.

Settling at the base of the platform, she snugged her back against the stone wall that threatened to force them off their narrow ledge, watching the girl intently. What intrigued her most perhaps, was that her magic struck Eve as something entirely different from her own - while Eve had spent hours on end nurturing her seeds of power and studying to expand the scope of her magic, this poor girl seemed to be possessed by hers, unable to control it as Evike did so handedly. The prospect of this excited her to say the least, as did the opportunity to feel the threads that commanded an element she'd yet to experience up close until now.
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<p>The woman had certainly experienced a bit of a shock, regardless of the lack of harm it caused - it was enough for Lux's ears to fall back in a more silent apology as she watched her lick at her own paw, the point of contact that had brought the whole thing about.</p> <p>By now, any residual current had leveled out and the sparks had vanished, rendering Lux harmless to the touch but still somewhat wary of her proximity to Evike as she obeyed, rising carefully to all fours and stepping towards her winged companion to settle a safe distance from the drop that nearly claimed her. </p><p><font style="color: #7fc2c8; font-variant: small-caps;"><b>"It's very... strong,"</b></font> She began with a sigh, her gaze cast downward to study her white toes before she closed them in exasperation, <font style="color: #7fc2c8; font-variant: small-caps;"><b>"I can only control it as much as I can control my own emotions, and even though it's not a danger to <i>me</i> anymore, it certainly is to everyone else,"</b></font> Surely the mage knew what <i>it</i> referred to, and given she seemed almost <i>curious</i> about the ordeal, maybe the yearling felt she could tentatively reach out to her for help.</p>
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Remorse colored her behavior, from the tuck of her ears to the way she moved in and away from the edge, providing enough distance between them as the ledge would allow. This girl was <I>afraid</I> of her power, and Evike couldn't blame her - it was powerful, but that wasn't what made it dangerous. Something uncontrolled, unchecked, was a threat no matter its strength. "I wouldn't say that just because it no longer harms you that it serves you no threat. Perceived slights and insults - especially the painful ones - can be just as dangerous as untamed power." She lifted her left wing, the mangled shoulder punctuating her wisdom, though it wasn't the fight with the black brute she was thinking of. Her gaze shifted toward the dark woods, a distant stare boring through the smear of black trees as if she could see through them - beneath them. Had she not pressed the issue, had they not argued...

"Things would be different." She concluded aloud, shifting her attention back to the yearling with a quiet frown. As her vision faded, she grasped the girl's shadow and pulled it up into a thin tendril. Unable to see much more than a spot of yellow among the darkness that claimed her sight, she could not identify any visual cues from the young wolf, though she kept her eyes trained on her all the same. The vine disengaged from the rest of the shadow, spinning into a delicate egg, etched by a blue-green wispy glow. The egg hovered and danced a moment before exploding harmlessly into shadow and light, her vision returning in a rush of too-bright colors. The color of her companion hurt her eyes, so she averted them, blinking and shaking her head to clear the obnoxious halo that hovered around everything.

It was only when her vision had recovered that she spoke, her gaze falling to the forest again unconsciously. "I fostered my seed of magic at a young age as an idle amusement, though I now pride myself on control. My emotions and the environment might break my concentration at times, but I am learning to overcome even that in due time." Her wings hugged about her shoulders like a cape, her head sinking down against her body. "It's a difficult process, but you <I>can</I> harness your magic. It doesn't have to control you." Was she offering? The charred woods seemed to stir up hesitation in the dark mage, reminding her of her shortcomings, darkening the valley of depression that her mind had entered into. What could she do? What could she teach this girl if she couldn't even protect herself? The possibility of yet more failures sapped her energy, leaving her expression wan and listlessly trained on that point beneath Mactibilis.

"Who are you?" Evike's voice rang hollow as she tore her gaze back to her companion, ears flicking her way attentively. The painful brilliance of the girl's yellow coat served to anchor her and lend brightness to the gloom of her mind, keeping her from slipping any further for the time being.
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