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 Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King

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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:21 am


Ryleon gave Rose a small smile in return, hugging her back and then pulling away just slightly. "Its-" BAM, then next thing he knew stars were dancing in front of his eyes and he was laying on his back, clutching at a rapidly swelling eye. He groaned, but wisely stayed down not wanting to pick more of a fight with Alex. He could surely hold his own, but Alex had the advantage of being stronger and obviously pissed off.

Demetri shot Ilario another dry look, going to say something that showed he really didn't care what the twin was saying when he watched Alex make a bee line straight for Ryleon and punch the man in the face. His eyes widened, not having thought Alex would ever do such a thing or Ryleon having any reason for him to do so.

Oriana seemed convinced enough, if he was able to manage a smile then she supposed he was alright. As we went out of the tent, she followed just after but not in enough time to stop him from throwing a punch directly at Ryleon's face. "Alex!" She hissed, showing her displeasure at his actions. She couldn't help but be a little surprised at his acting abilities but kept that thought and any trace of expression to herself.

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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:34 am

Squeaking in surprise, Rose jumped backwards when Ryleon suddenly went falling off to the side, looking up belatedly at Alex and noting briefly that his face was utterly calm as he shook out his fist, seemingly satisfied now that Ryleon was on the ground and didn't make a move to pursue the fight any father. "Alex!" She yelled at the same time Oriana did. Glancing at her female cousin briefly, she got down on her knees near where Ryleon had fallen, shooting Alex an acid glare and placed her hands near Ryleon's face where he'd been punched. Singing softly, she made sure that he was better before attempting to help him sit up, her face a mask of worry. That was entirely uncalled for.

Ilario, having seen the whole thing from where he sat would freely admit that he was deeply amused by the drama, and only wished he knew the whole story. Grinning, he was content to leave Demetri alone for now and watch how things unfolded.

Flexing his hand, Alex looked over to Oriana, that same dead-pan look on his face. "I promise not to do it again." He offered as something of an apology, but didn't look at all remorseful for punching Ryleon on the face out of left field. Damn kid.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:42 am


Ryleon laid quietly as Rose came to his side, healing his eye and sighing in relief as the pain disappeared. "Thank you, Rose." He said, sitting up with her guidance and not even bothering to look to Alex. In his mind, it eased the guilt a bit and made them even for what he had done the previous night so he was not going out for any type of revenge.

Demetri looked to Ilario once more, "Do you know anything about this?" He asked, curious as to what fully transpired. For one who normally slept out of the tent, he had seen the three that had come back the night before but when no explanation came from either sibling as to why Alex was unconscious, he didn't push the topic by asking.

Oriana leveled a glare at Alex, stepping fully out of the tent now. "He hadn't meant to, and you know it." She looked past him and to her brother, happy to see him quickly healed and then looked back to Alex. She knew Alex didn't feel one bit sorry for doing it and believe he wouldn't repeat his actions but it still didn't make up for his first one. In her mind, Ryleon had made an accident, sure but didn't need to be punished for it. "Don't take your anger out on him because your fun was ruined last night."
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:05 am

Nodding empathetically to Ryleon, Rose continued to glare at Alex, reassured that at least Oriana was about to talk some sense into him and perhaps she would get a chance to scold him as well. Even though Ryleon had made the initial mistake, her sympathies were with her cousin and definitely not with the trouble-making Alex. For his part Ilario just shook his head at Demetri's question, watching the argument that was about to happen with great interest. This should be good. They hadn't had a good dose of drama in a while. Getting kidnapped by bandits didn't count.

Looking briefly at all of the staring going on in his direction, Alex nodded toward the woods. "He got what was coming, and we're discussing this somewhere else." He left no room for argument and abruptly turned to leave the camp site, intent on not giving the others a show. Alex was counting on Oriana to follow him, she was too stubborn to not get her way when she really had her mind set on something.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:11 am


"He's right, Rose." He smiled at her, putting an arm on her shoulder to try to calm her a bit. "We are even now." He added, running a hand through his hair to ensure not dirt or leaves had managed to stick to him for the few short moments he was down.

Oriana felt an angry blush come to her face as Alex spoke to her as if she was a child being told what to do. She stomped off after him and into the woods for a little bit and then stopped, refusing to follow him any further in. "Stop. What's gotten into you?" She demanded, folding her arms across her chest, prepared to stand her ground.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:27 am

Confused at Ryleon's acceptance of the situation, she nodded slowly and watched as the two left, noting that Ilario looked extremely disappointed that there was going to be no arguing. Frowning at the childishness of her older brother, Rose stood and dusted off her knees from the dirt that clung to her pants. "Well… I suppose that breakfast should happen now."

Alex turned with Oriana stopped, looking at her first over his shoulder and taking in her defiant pose. He knew that she wouldn't allow him to lead her around the forest like a lovesick doll, had been counting on it, in fact, but he wished that they had gotten at least a little farther from camp to prevent snooping. Rose and Ryleon wouldn't follow, but it wasn't them he was concerned about. Remaining silent he closed the distance between himself and Oriana in the space of a few steps and slipped his hand onto her waist, touching the underside of Oriana's chin lightly with his fingertips. "He never should have thought that I would have hurt you." That was the root of his frustration, he realized even as he spoke the words. "I love you." There. He said it. He hadn't been sure before, but he didn't feel as if he were lying. It felt… right, actually.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:39 am


Oriana watched as Alex closed in on her and was planning on not bending to whatever charm that he had planned to prevent her from staying angry at him but she was prepared for what he actually did. At first, the near hurt tone he had used when talking about Ryleon and then he had confessed he loved her. She felt as thought she had been struck and could only stare at him with a deep, dark blush on her face. "What?" So help him god if he was just doing this so she wouldn't stay angry at him. Her heart pounded in her chest as things began to work once again in her body. "Don't say things you don't mean, Alex." She warned, halfway anticipating for her thoughts to be true, the other half waiting to hear she was wrong.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:22 am

The storm had been looming off the coast all day and when it finally struck the small flock of avians were caught in the violently tossing wind. Rose fared the worst being the lightest of them and was very nearly tossed out of the sky by the first gale. Folding her wings, she dove below the wind before struggling back up to a safe height, flailing against the wind.

Ilario dipped low, looking for somewhere to keep out of the wind and pointed at a black yawning hole carved into the side of the cliffs. "There!" He shouted over the noise of the storm and closed his wings, diving for the safety of the caves and only snapping his wings open seconds before colliding with the sandy stretch of ground below him and landed hard. The moment he was safe on the ground though he closed his wings tightly so that they wouldn't be ripped open again by the wind and drag him back into the sky.

Rose followed without hesitation, the struggle she was having against the weather wearing her out quickly. When she landed she was nearly forced to her knees by another gale and just barely managed to stagger back to her feet. It began to pour then, the rain blasting down from up high, cold and hard with bits of hail thrown in just because the weather could be mean like that. Alex dove down after making sure that Oriana was okay and started running for the cave.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:47 am

Demetri fought hard to keep himself level, and was really starting to worry for Roses' safety. She was getting thrown around like a rag doll and was more than relieved when Ilario pointed out a place for them to land and take shelter. Once inside he went to Roses' side, putting a hand on her back to steady her and pulling her father into the cave for protection. "Are you alright?"

Tristan and Ryleon followed in after Ilario, looking back at the cave entrance when it began raining and each of them sighed briefly. "Well...good time for a break, I suppose." Tristan said dryly, fixing the collar on his shirt and looking around the seemingly empty cave. No bears so far, that's good.

Oriana followed in last, landing at the entrance of the cave and nearly running into Alex's back. She put her hands up to stabilize herself and then folded her wings in tightly against her back, stepping further into the cave.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:36 am

Once inside the cave Rose took a moment to catch her breath, breathing deeply of the stale but still cave air and looked up to Demetri's concerned face. "Yes, I'm fine." She replied with a small smile, shaking out her wings and started brushing down her feathers, some of them sticking out at awkward angles from being blown around so violently. "I'm glad there was a cave here. I think that it would have been a bad idea to try and set up our camping gear outside in this wind."

"No kidding." Ilario agreed with a snort, tugging at the hems of his shirt until it sat on him properly again on him. Looking out to the nasty weather outside, he made a face, disgusted with the whipping wind and torrential downpour that hailed from the sky. "I suppose we're going to be spending a cold night in here." Glancing quickly over his shoulder at the two grouped couples, he amended his statement under his breath; "Well, some of us will anyway." Building a fire was out of the question since there was no way of finding decent wood that wouldn't be drenched after the downpour, and he wasn't about to go and volunteer to find out if his hunch was correct, either. Slicking back his wet hair, he began unloading everything he was carrying and set it against the wall of the cave.

Alex extended his wing partially out into the storm when Oriana ran up in a vague effort to keep off some of the rain and once she was safely inside shook himself like a dog coming out of water. He hated storms. He had been beneath deck when a storm had hit one of the ships he was being transported on, and ever since couldn't be in so much as a light rain without remembering how the ship had lurched and rocked in the violent waves on the open sea. Looking balefully at the storm, he hugged Oriana briefly to his chest before taking off his supplies as well. "We might as well camp here for the evening. It's as good a location as any."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:55 am


Demetri smiled briefly and moved away from Rose, setting down his own things and setting himself up against a wall. He stripped off any gear he had and looked up to Rose, watching her with some amount of interest.

Oriana looked to Alex with some concern, noting a frown on his handsome features that went beyond some inconvenient storm that stopped their progress. "Is something wrong?" She asked, setting down her weapons and bag before walking back over to his side. She couldn't imagine he was feeling any discomfort from yesterday, she knew she was a bit sore but...A blush flashed upon her features for a moment disappeared as soon as it appeared.

As the night wore on, and everyone found a place to snuggle up to each other (mainly the couples and the three other boys just slept close to one another). Oriana moved in close to Alex, adjusting herself in her sleep against Alex's chest for warmth. Demetri slept close to Rose, usually the one to sleep by himself but he didn't want the girl blowing away and she seemed prone to do in the high winds.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:38 am

Outside of the caves the storm continued to rage, nature's fury pounding at the shore and cliff faces with all of the power that the elements could muster. Inside the caves however things were very nearly silent save for the distant howl of the wind outside and the gentle breathing of the party of avians that had taken shelter inside of the natural formation. The night wound on and the storm began to settle a bit, turning from the frightening clamor of lightning and hail into a steady downpour of rain that soaked the ground through until the ceiling dripped in places, the earth above the caves now utterly drenched.

Mist, slow and creeping, began to form over the ground, slithering silently over the sand as it moved along, pushed by invisible currents. But the mist did not come from outside the cave, but rather from the inside, moving out in a gentle gust and cloaking the sleeping avians in its cool embrace. A figure moved within the mist from deeper inside the cave. At first very little could be made out about the being that came from the depths of the cave. It appeared first as only a shift in the mist as it parted around the invisible form, then a soft glow began to define the proportions of the creature. A deer-like body with a dragon's tail, it's feet not hooves but sharp points like spindles. Its neck was thick with muscle and fur like that of a lion, its face a plate of bone shaped like a tear with two horns curving gently backward from the base of the skull. Its eyes were but dark pits seemingly carved into the creature's mask-like face. The defining glow of the creature continued to shine outward until the beast became solid, appearing like a white specter from the deep of the cave and silently moved toward the sleepers, the mist clinging to its form like a cloak.

It walked between them with unworldly grace, dipping its head to inspect each of the avians that it found taking residence in its cave. After spending a moment hovering over each, it touched them with the tip of its pointed nose on the forehead, the mist covering them more fully like a blanket.

Rose felt something like cold water dripping on her face and wrinkled her nose at the feeling. It happened again, and again, and she finally wiped at her face and decided to sit up. Was the ceiling leaking? That would be horrible, and she'd have to move. However, when she roused and looked around, it was to find that she was alone. Fear rose in her chest immediately, and she frantically looked to the side where she knew that Demetri had been before she fell asleep. There was nobody there, not even an imprint in the sand where his body would have been. Sweeping to her feet, Rose turned in a full circle and gave a short scream in fear when the lightning from outside filled the whole cave with blinding light, thunder rolling over the land in a powerful crescendo. Turning toward the inside of the cave, she hugged herself tightly and tried to look into the darkness. "Hello? Where did you all go?"

He was rocking, being tossed back and forth, the smell of damp and sickness choking him until his throat seemed to close off to prevent the smell. Alex was on his knees, his wings painfully tied to his back and his arms shackled in front of him, chained to a post in the bottom of a ship. No. Not here. Not again. How had this happened? Panicking, he tugged on his chains to no avail and looked around. The pirates. They must have come to the cave when they were sleeping and captured them. "Oriana?" he called, looking around desperately for a familiar face. The only ones that looked back at him were other slaves, similarly bound and looking just as frightened as he felt. "Rose? Ryleon?" He tugged at his chains again, trying to get a better look, but nothing was working. He was trapped again, and the tightness in his chest increased, the walls and press of bodies seeming to close in on him from all sides.

There was talking, chatter. Distant and undefined. Ilario roused slowly, rubbing his eyes with the heel of his palm and looked around. His heart leapt up in his throat, stuttering slightly. He was home! The home he remembered, unblemished and unbroken like the raid had never happened. The voices that he had heard became clearer, and he recognized his family talking amongst one another. Standing quickly, he walked out of his room and into the hallway, following the voices until he found all of them in the dining room, talking and carrying on and laughing. His heart lightened with relief. The journey was over, then! They had found their family and saved them from those terrible metal monstrosities. Smiling to himself, he took his place at the table and waited for one of the dining maids to bring him a plate. None did. Frowning, he got to his feet and went back to the kitchen to get his own. "Hey, you guys are really slacking back here." He said irritably to the first maid that crossed his path. She acted like she hadn't heard him and kept walking.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:12 am


Why was it so cold? Ryleon asked himself that as he turned over, and found empty air and a short fall to the ground. "What the...?" He asked, opening his eyes to look what he fell from, he was sure he was laying on the ground. He was surprised to see a bar stool in front of him, and he stood quickly wondering how on Earth he had gotten there. "Oriana? Alex?" He looked around, the only thing in front of him was an empty glass, the bar itself was in shambles and there were bodies all around but no one was moving.

A sharp pain ran down his back, and spread through his wings that forced Demetri to spring up from where he was sleeping. Perhaps he had rolled on a rock? But when he opened his eyes he was back in the cell he knew all too well. Back to the place he was tortured for so long. For the short moment he was standing, pain erupted in his back forcing him back onto the ground and into the fetal position. Where was Rose? How did he get back here? Whatever other questions he had melted away into pain and fear.

Oriana found herself in a quiet forest, with seemingly no one around. "Where did everyone get to?" She had not remembered them being so close or deep into the forest or even how she got out there. It was surprisingly peaceful though. A smile was brought to her face when she saw Alex standing just a head of her and made her way towards him. "Do you know how we got out here?" She asked, putting a hand on his shoulder to turn him around.

Tristan looked around him, not really sure how it was that he was sitting in his living room, and standing over his shoulder was...Talos! He stood quickly, nearly knocking the man over. "Talos! How-?" He was interrupted when the man held his hand up from him to stop and then walked away. "....What?"
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:34 am

It took a while of searching and wandering around the small opening of the cave, but Rose eventually came to the conclusion that she was utterly alone. The others had left her, though where she went she couldn't even begin to guess. Looking out at the miserable and gusty weather, she immediately assumed that they wouldn't be going that way, since it would probably be nigh on suicide to try and fly in this weather. That left her only one choice; the caves further in. She shivered as she looked into the dark maw of the cavern, the feeling of loneliness welling up inside of her until she was forced to take that first step toward the pitch black beyond.

It got colder in the cave the longer she walked, the damp moist cave air clinging to her skin as it exhaled like some sleepy slow-moving beast, brushing past her face with the lightest of fingers. She stopped, the fear of the darkness before her consuming her for a full minuet in which she could barely breathe. Her knees trembled, and as she gasped for air she tried to turn and head back for the mouth of the cave but her legs gave way. With a cry, Rose fell, her palms hitting the sand of the cave underneath and looked up to see that the prick of light that should have been the cave entrance was gone. It was utterly black here. She was lost and alone. Tears started to fall from her unseeing eyes and with a bodily shiver and a pathetic whimper, she curled in on herself and sat terrified in a huddled ball.

*~*

The press of bodies was night unbearable, the muggy heat that pervaded the entirety of the holding below decks invading and becoming a near solid smothering thing. Alex gulped for fresh air, got none and became steadily more frantic, tugging at his chains with more and more force until he was sure that the skin around his wrists would tear open and he would become scarred like the others he had seen pass through these holds. But he didn't care. He just wanted out. The ship rocked again, this time with enough force to make the wood groan in protest and they were all shifted around. Other captive slaves fell on him, crowding him further and dragging his arms painfully against the chains that bound him. He tried to struggle against them, make them move out of the way for he would surely smother under all of them. Caged in on every side by unwashed filthy and starved bodies, there was no escape as he struggled for some sort of freedom.

Pain lanced through his wrists, something cracked, and he couldn't help but to scream at the pain that nearly blinded him, for one fleeting second taking away the awful sense of drowning in a pile of human bodies. Had his wrist broken? Maybe. He couldn't be sure. Maybe it was his wings. Those hurt too. Someone was laying on them, no doubt finding them more comfortable than lying up against some other bone-skinny body or the floor or the curved wall of the hold. Whatever it was, it only made him more visible, the pain now adding to his already intense need to escape this before his racing heart burst in his chest.

*~*

It didn't take much longer for Ilario to figure out what was going on. They were ignoring him. He had tried talking to the others, but they carried on their conversation without even noticing that he had entered the conversation. He'd tried talking to himself in a loudly obnoxious voice, but that didn't attract anyone's attention either. He even went so far as to start screaming obscenities, knowing that at the very least his mother should have scolded him for using profanity in the presence of his younger siblings. She hated it when he did that. But if Mai noticed him screaming any number of derogatory things in her ear, then she didn't even so much wince at the volume or flick an eye in his direction.

Thoroughly puzzled, he sat down at his place and watched the others chatting happily to each other, wondering what in the world was going on when the door finally opened. He looked up see Tristan coming through the door and stood to greet him. "You gonna ignore me too?" He asked with a fair amount of annoyance, eyeing his twin to see if he'd been noticed. The others turned when they heard him enter and called greetings to him and he sat down at the space that Ilario had just been occupying.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:47 am


He heard his heart beat loudly in his chest as he stepped forward to inspect the first person closest to him and thankfully not someone he had recognized. Dead. They were beaten badly and had probably died of internal bleeding. He inspected the next person, finding them in a similar condition. "What...happened...?" A cold realization suddenly sat on his chest and he looked down to his hands. They were covered in blood, dripping with it in fact, and swollen. "No...I...." He was so confused, how did this- The drink...there was an empty glass sitting on the bar from where he had fallen. He stood frozen with a horrified look plastered on his face as he began to piece together what had happened here.

The last time he had some sort of alcoholic beverage he had drunkenly tried to attack Ilario and Tristan and thankfully never got his hands on them. He had taken his anger out on a helpless pole that had broken both of his hands and bloodied them almost as they were now but with his own blood instead. He had woken up with no knowledge of what had happened and pain in his hands. Ilario and Tristan wouldn't leave him alone for days about it. But...His dark brown eyes scanned the room once more, not believing what he was seeing. Did he really do this?

His heart nearly stopped in his chest when he saw familiar locks of blonde hair laying on the floor around a table. He slowly walked over, picking his way through the bodies and when he rounded the table he gave a small cry of distress, dropping to his knees in front of Roses' lifeless body. She was bloody and beaten to a pulp, dark marks of bruises circled her throat. He went to touch her, to prove that it wasn't true but he couldn't bring himself to do it. There was still blood coating his hand as it shook violently in the space in front of him. "Rose...how could I..." Through blurry tears in his eyes, Ryleon drew his knees up to his chest, unable to deal with what he had done.

~*~*~

Demetri really could not believe how he gotten back into this miserable place, laying in the fetal position in the corner of the cell he knew too well. He felt the sharp pain in his back that he had known all too well and had gone into survival mode staring blankly into the darkness. He was only interrupted when the light of a torch stung his eyes and he could hear footsteps. That was when they came, always the soft jingling of keys, then they unlocked the cell, putting the torch up in his face sometimes singeing the skin. Demetri was paralyzed with fear as two people grabbed his arms dragged him out of his cell and down the dirty hallway. They took no care to ensure he didn't bump into a wall or get dragged through a puddle of dirty water.

He was eventually brought to a room, it had a slab of metal which stood as a table in the middle of the room and a wall of instruments. There was a unique design of the table however. Around the entire slab, there was a lip that would catch the blood that ran off of it and drain it into a bucket down at the end of the table. To keep the blood from coagulating on the cool metal surface the table was always kept uncomfortably warm, though he knew not how. How many hours had he spent laying on that table?

He was hoisted up on the table and had his wrists and ankles strapped down after he was face down on the table. They were after the wings, after all. He was one of the first people they experimented on, so they spent a lot of time finding out the anatomy of his wings. The madman that ran the insane group was hell bent on finding out them for some reason unknown to Demetri. He had met that man once before, when he had tried to escape the first time unsuccessfully and he had never tasted fear so deeply before. To his luck, it was one of his goons today.

The man began with drawing out a knife and driving it two inches into his back, Demetri yelled out in pain, fighting against the straps holding him down as he cried out. The man waited for his test subject to stop moving before dragging the knife expertly across his back and around his wings. Demetri cried out, clenching his fists so hard his knuckles turn white. He felt a finger prob his back, pushing aside flesh to examine the muscles. He bit back a groan as hot angry tears filled his eyes.

He had no idea how much agonizing time had passed before they finally unstrapped him and dragged him onto the floor and eventually back to his cell. They threw him on the floor and slammed the door behind them leaving Demetri in a bloody heap.

~*~*~*~

Oriana frowned when Alex didn't turn around, walking around to his side instead to see what had been wrong with him. When she did however, he had fallen to the ground a sea of blood starting to form around his body. "ALEX!" She scream, dropping to her knees to turn him over. There was a deep wound in his chest, but he was still alive. How had this happened, who had done this? She was so confused. Just as she was about to formulate a plan in her mind, she felt strong hands grip her shoulders and rip her away from Alex. "What-?!" She was about to scream some sort of curse before she came face to face with the man who had nearly raped her.

Her face went pale white and she felt the strength stolen from her. She fumbled at her side for a weapon but found nothing.She could only stare in wide eye fear as she looked at him. "No...Alex killed you..." She denied, her voice did not sound like her own more like that of a scared child.

"Looks more the other way 'round, don't it girly?" He gave her a toothless grin, slamming her onto the ground and knocking the air from her lungs. "Hows 'bout we finish what we started, hmmm?" He growled, pinning her down. Oriana felt tears well in her eyes as she could not find the strength to fight back. She turned her head to look to Alex, seeing his life essence spill onto the ground. "Alex..." She cried, only to feel the bandits rough hands grab her face and drag it towards his own into a rough sloppy kiss.

She tried in vain to pull away from the bandit and he roughly pulled away from her. With both of her hands in one of his larger ones, he bound her arms above her head. Panic flared in her chest, she was so helpless and now there was no Alex to save her. The bandit leaned down, licking the tears roughly from her face. "Tasty."

~*~*~*~

Talos had left Tristan sitting confused in the familiar living room. Had he seemed upset at him? Tristan didn't really understand but shrugged and walked through the house in a nonchalant manner. It was only then that he noticed that he was getting dark looks from the maids that he passed. They not dare come up to him, but they whispered behind his back when he passed. Some of them even seemed surprised that he was there and quickly darted down one of the many hallways of the Seranoa compound. "What the hell is wrong with them?" Fed up with not knowing what was going on, he grabbed one of the maids, bringing her to him and looking her dead in the eye. "Oi, what the hell is wrong with everyone?"

The woman screamed, pulling at Tristan's unrelenting strength. "Answer me!" He demanded, the poor woman had tears forming in her eyes but stopped fighting him. "M-master Tristan, what...what are you doing here?"

"What do you mean?"

The maid looked at him with confusion, wondering if this was a trick or some sort of charm to get her to keep him being back a secret. "You...went into self imposed exile, don't you remember?" Tristan felt as if he was punched in the chest, the air leaving his lungs. Exile? "Why...?" He didn't bother answering her own questions, wanting- no, needing to have answers to his own. "I don't know all the details, sir, but you couldn't control your powers anymore...even with Master Talos' instruction. One day..." She seemed pained to recall the event, "You somehow had enchanted several weapons in the house and it killed many maids here, sir, it also hurt Master Kol..."

Tristan released the maid, stumbling back in shock as his features grew stark white. "Master Tristan...you...really don't remember...? You've been gone for nearly ten years..." The maid seemed even more concerned as Tristan stepped back into the wall with a horrified look on his face. "Maste-" She was interrupted when Tristan held a hand up, his head hanging low. "My father...where is he...? He asked.

The maid seemed like she didn't know how to answer...and then began softly, "He...passed, sir, after you left. Miss Roses' healing voice or Master Talos' chants had no effect on the wounds inflicted by your enchanted weapons..."
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:48 pm

The pure fear that gripped him consumed his thoughts, making him struggle against his chains despite the pain. He didn't care if he rubbed his wrists raw, or had all of his feathers torn out by the others as he flailed wildly for freedom. But even his passion for freedom eventually lost to the despair in his head and the weariness of his body. A haze of exhaustion dropped over his soul and Alex became still, sitting on his knees with his head bowed and eyes shut tight, biting so hard at his lip that he drew blood. This was how it was going to end. Cramped in this claustrophobic space among slaves just as downtrodden as he. It couldn't end like this. Not now, not when he had so much left to do.

He thought of Oriana, the warmth that invoking the image of her face giving him the strength to look at his chains, really look at them. They were rusted, old. The wood that the manacles were bolted to was just as old as the chains. Perhaps if he worked at it…

It took some doing to force his body to move, to unclench from the pathetic huddle that he had crammed himself into in response to his fear of being trapped. His body rebelled, made nauseous by the rocking of the boat and the stench of bodies around him, but he fought through the wave of fear that threatened to push him back down into that terrified state again. Pushing against a man that sat between him and his chains, Alex got closer to the bold that held him to the wood and began trying to work at it. A cool breeze passed over him, sending a chill down his spine and he looked up and saw that a faint mist had begun to spread from the back of the ship. Confused and worried that something had gone amiss, he stilled and realized that darkness was following on the tail end of the mist. He began to panic, wondering what it was that could be causing such a phenomena, then the source appeared from the mist and shadow. A pure white dragonish-hound with a plate-like face loomed out of the darkness, walking with ethereal silence through the hold. None of the other captured slaves seemed to notice the creature as it walked amongst them, trailing mist in its wake as it moved straight toward him.

He held utterly still, half frightened and half mystified by the appearance of the creature. It stopped on the other side of the beam his chains were bolted to and simply looked at him for a long silent moment, the black angular holes in the white mask unfeeling as it stood there. Then it dipped its head and touched the chains and they simply unraveled like string wound too tight then suddenly given release. The releasing of the chains gave him such a sense of profound relief that he momentarily forgot about the ship and when he looked up again he was startled to find it gone, hidden in the mist, the strange creature gone.

Then he simply woke.

It was still raining outside the cave, but no longer dark as night, the blackness from before having lightened somewhat with the approach of dawn. He looked around and found that he wasn't alone, but that the others were still sleeping nearby like he remembered them having been before. Oriana was next to him, still sound asleep, but there was something wrong. Getting to his knees he placed his hands on her shoulder gently and shook her. "Oriana, wake up!" he said quietly, gently rocking her shoulders.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:05 am


Oriana let out a small whimper when she felt her shirt being torn from her chest and rough, uncaring hands grabbing her breasts roughly. This was it, this time there was no Alex to save her from her attacker. She felt herself go numb and stopped her struggle against the bandit thinking not to hurt herself further and get it over with. She tasted utter defeat for the first time in her life and she knew there was nothing she could do about it.

Nothing that was until she heard Alex calling her name, an almost inaudible whisper of a noise inside her mind. She looked over to the crumpled heap that was Alex and noted that no movement had really taken place. Had she made it up? As it continued her head her resolve about it totally being in her mind began to dissolve. If Alex was really alive, she had to get to him, to save him.

The bandit purred in satisfaction that the woman underneath him had finally stopped struggling and he was able to enjoy himself fully on her soft body. Having thought he was going to get what he wanted, he let his guard down, cloaking her body with his own larger one to drag sloppy kisses up her neck. Oriana took the chance to bring her knee up between them in one fast moment, landing a solid hit on his lower man bits. He let out a terrible groan against her throat and flipped himself over on the ground, holding his crotch as he howled in pain. Oriana took no chances, leaping to her feet and grabbing the sword that was on his hip.

She gave one last glare to the man before running the sword though his abdomen, satisfied to see his life essence spilling onto the ground as he had done to Alex. Alex...She turned to him but instead of seeing where his body had been there was a thick mist covering the ground. Panic flared to life, her only thought on where he could possibly be and not wanting to trip over his broken body. "Alex!" She called, hoping to hear anything, a response a groan, anything! Instead she was met with a spectral looking dragon-hound coming straight towards her. She put her arms in front of her face in defense if it were to attack but it never came. Instead, she awoke, startled, and even more shocked to see Alex above her with his hands on her shoulders.

Without second thought she brought her hands to his chest, searching for a wound and with utmost relief she hung her head, feeling the tears burning behind her eyes. "Thank god..." After a moment to collect herself she gave an apologetic look. "Sorry...I had a terrible nightmare." Thinking she had woken him in her sleep with whimpering or some really distressed look on her face.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:34 am

The second that Oriana was done apologizing Alex wrapped her in a fierce hug, holding her close to his chest. After a moment of indulging himself in her presence, he let his arms loose and trailed his hands to her forearms, looking at her. "I did too. Was there… a white creature, in your dreams? Sort of draconic?" He wasn't really sure why he was asking. It couldn't be possible that they'd had the same creature in their dreams, right? But all the same, he felt like he had to. It was strange enough that they'd both had nightmares, and the nightmare itself was so… real…

At that moment Rose made a little noise and he looked around to find that she'd curled up around herself, her wings folded over her body protectively and hands twisted together close to her chest. Craning his neck slightly, Alex saw that she had tears on her face, her sleeping expression troubled. "I think… they're all having nightmares…"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:28 am


Oriana let a small sigh of relief when Alex hugged her to him. She could see, could feel that he was in fact alive and well. When he brought up the dragon like creature she looked puzzled for a moment. "Yes, I did, right before I woke up. Some cross between a dragon and hound or something..." She looked confused at him for a moment that he would know what had been in her dream.

Her confusion would have to wait though as he had looked over to Rose. She looked terrified and upset, her wings around her body. A frown touched the corners of Oriana's lips and she looked back to Alex. "Lets try to wake them up...If its all of us that were having nightmares I think the faster we get out of here the better..." Oriana stood up, walking to Rose's side and grabbing at her shoulders giving her a firm shake. "Rose, wake up! Rose!" She called out.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:56 pm

The confirmation of his fears didn't put him at ease any, but increased his worry. Perhaps this cave was cursed. That would certainly explain the both of them having the same creature in their nightmares. Standing, Alex walked over to Ryleon, shaking the boy gently and calling his name to get him to wake up.

The darkness around her was punctuated by a faint sound. Distant at first, like the faintest echo of thunder. Rose raised her head and sniffled, straining her ears to hear that again. It was darkness all around her, so she couldn't see, but she could hear. It came again, closer, and this time she recognized it as a voice calling her name. Quickly she got to her feet, looking around wildly despite the fact that she was still cloaked in darkness. "Hello?" She called, her voice swallowed by the mass emptiness. "Where are you?" Even if nobody answered, she knew that there was someone there, somewhere. Her heart fluttered in her chest at the possibility. She hadn't been left. She was just lost.

She felt the presence more than she saw it, a something standing just to the side of her. Rose turned her head to look and saw in startling clarity the profile of a while beast, smooth horns curving back from a plate-like face. It tuned its head a fraction toward her, held a moment, then silently walked forward. Not knowing what else to do, she followed the creature. Whiteness started pouring in around them as they walked, and it took a while for her to realize that it was mist swirling around them, replacing the darkness with light. The creature walked faster and soon disappeared through the mist. Panic flared in Rose's chest and she began running, wanting to escape as white pressed in on every side of her-

Gasping, she woke and sat up, looking around fearfully. Her eyes locked on Oriana and she stared at the other girl for a handful of seconds then fairly leapt at her cousin, sobbing and squeezing her tight.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:14 pm


Once Oriana nearly got over the heart attack of Rose snapping her eyes open and then shortly after leaping on her, she wrapped her arms around her cousin in a slightly awkward manner. "It's okay Rose." She said feeling the sobs wrack her body. Frowning she looked around the cave for a moment and spotted Demetri. There weren't tears running down his face but a thin layer of sweat covered his body and he looked in pain, real pain and he was curled into a tight ball with his wings wrapped laying behind him limply. "Rose, " Oriana said her name to get her attention from whatever nightmare she had gone through and back to reality. " I think Demetri needs you." She nodded over to the man before slowly releasing her arms around her cousin.

Ryleon couldn't remember how long he had cried for, sitting by Roses' downed body and the grief was turning him mad. Where were the others to stop him from doing this, how could he? Questions ran through his head over and over, tormenting him, teasing him. Through his own suffering he head a slight noise, someones voice. He looked up from where he had knelt and looked up, seeing nothing but dead bodies. So, he was imagining it. He only looked up once more when the noise grew stronger, someone was saying his name. He stood this time, perhaps he hadn't killed all of his friends, there was some hope. When he started for the bar door, he saw a white creature come out of no where. It looked almost like a dragon, as white mist seemed to curl in and around its body. Ryleon was about to say something when it turned and phased through the door, white mist seemed to cover the entire bar floor. "Hey, wait!" He called after it, running through the door and into the night.

And then woke to a start, he nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw Alex over him, and then confusion mixed with sadness crossed his face. "Did I-" He didn't have to go on, he heard crying behind him and his eyes fixed on Rose. A long hiss of a breath left him as he looked to Alex. "Thanks..." He mumbled.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:09 am

She blinked when Oriana spoke, sniffling and wiped her tears with the back of her hand, looking to Demetri, her eyes rimmed with red. "Did… did we all have that nightmare?" She whispered, looking to her cousin for answers, then briefly at Alex. Ryleon's reaction as she woke settled her doubts, and her eyes widened to see her cousin look at her so fearfully.

Alex reached out and patted the younger man on the forearm. "Welcome back." He mumbled in reply and went to get up the twins, starting with who he thought was most likely Tristan. It was hard to tell them apart when they weren't talking.

Swallowing, Rose looked at Demetri, so fearful in his sleep and gently laid her hands on him. "Demetri, wake up." She whispered, having a feeling that she knew what kind of dreams that he was having. All the scars he'd borne on his body… they had to come from somewhere. "Come back Demetri, please…"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:37 am


Oriana was glad that mentioning Demeti would bring Rose back a little faster and watched her go to the man. Standing herself, Oriana went over to Ilario and grabbed his shoulders shaking him hard. "Oooooiiiii, Wake up." She called to him, far less gentle in her approach than she was with Rose. There had been more than once in her life when one of the twins had decided to wake violently and start a fight without even realizing it. She wanted to take no chance that happened now even if he was having a nightmare.

Ryleon slumped back against the rock with a sigh and gave a nod to Alex as he went to wake Tristan, he watched Rose for a long time. There were no marks on her, no bruises around her neck or on her arms. What a terrifying dream.

Tristan watched as the maid ran down the hallway, away from his grasp now that he had gotten the information out of her that he wanted. He looked down to his hands, noticing for the first time that his hands looked older, more rough than the twenty year old hands he had before. "Ten years, eh?" Depression began to sink into the avian, as he slid against a wall. How could have he of done this? Since when was his powers of control? He put a hand on his head, letting out a strangled noise when he heard something else. He looked up, the hallway completely empty. "God dammnit, whoever you are stop staring at me. If you have something to say do it to my face!" He growled, standing from where he had been. The deep depression he had begun to feel was replaced by anger, red hot anger and he wanted to take it out on the first person he saw.

What he ended up seeing however was no avain or human at all, but a weird dragon looking thing that looked as if it had plate metal on its face. "What the hell are you...?" He asked, as the hallway began to fill with a sort of thick fog. The creature began to move away from him and he tried to follow. The next thing he knew he was awake, leaping up from his laying position and taking a fighting stance ready to beat the crap out of whatever was coming next. He was a little more than confused to find himself back in the cave and very slowly lowered his arms when his eyes rested on Alex. "What the hell!"

Demetri woke once more on the table, laying face down and strapped as per the norm before they usually began to test on him. He heard mumbling all around him but he was too tired, too much in pain to hear any of it. Soon enough the talking stopped and he heard the clinking of metal object being picked up. The cut into a similar line as they had done before, over the not yet healed wounds and Demetri yelled as searing pain went through his body. They were digging deeper this time to get a better look at the tissues near his wings.

As the tourtings on his body were being done in his dream, Demetri let out a pained noise, curling himself further into a fight ball to block out the pain on his back. His skin was pale and slick with sweat and his hair was plastered to his face.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:39 am

He was so angry and frustrated, words could not describe. But one thing he had realized, and that was that either he was dead, or he simply didn't exist. Even as he looked around at the table, he realized that there was no extra place set for him. Only for his brother. What had happened? Why were things like this? Why would nobody recognize his presence? As the questions swirled in his head and desperation began to claw at him, Oriana suddenly looked up from her meal, a dry look on her face. "Oooooiiiii, wake up." She said, looking annoyed like she usually did whenever she addressed him for doing something stupid.

So relieved that someone finally noticed him, he couldn't even bother to be annoyed. "You can see me?" He asked, hoping, wanting for it to be true, and Oriana simply stared at him like he'd gone out of his mind. Mist began to creep in around the edges of the room, and he looked around, confused as to where it could have possibly be coming from. Was there fire? No… this was low mist creeping along the ground… Then he saw a white figure walk past the door in the hallway and ran to the threshold to look and see what the creature could be, only for the mist to swallow him. When he blinked, it was to see only darkness, then Oriana staring at him with that same annoyed look on her face that he'd seen in his dream. Sitting up, he rubbed his eyes and looked around, noting that everyone else seemed to be awake already. "You'll never believe what kind of dream I just had. It was awful."

Rose immediately became worried when Demetri didn't wake up, but seemed to fall deeper into his dream. She shifted, placing her hands more firmly against his feverish skin, wiping the locks of his hair out of his face, biting her lip as she did so. "Demetri, they can't get you. You're safe now." She whispered, stroking his cheek gently with her thumb, her other hand feeling his forehead. "Please…" When he didn't immediately respond she closed her eyes and took a deep breath, then started singing. It was a lullaby, one that her mother had sung her any number of times.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:14 am


Oriana's dry expression turned into a sigh when he woke, thankful she at least didn't set him off when he woke up. She released his shoulders and looked around the room. "No, I can believe it. We all had nightmares, I think everyone is awake except Demetri." She spotted her cousin huddled over Demetri, singing softly to him, it wasn't hard to believe he'd be the last to wake up.

Demetri let out another pained cry as the knife dug deeper into his back, he fell dizzy as his vision began to give out. Something was keeping him awake though, keeping him from releasing himself from the pain forever. He felt his restraints being undone but he couldn't move anyway. He was left in the room alone to bleed out on the table and he just wanted to end it. He felt his breathing slow as he closed his eyes but something nagged at his consciousness, he was forgetting something. Something important...Rose. Suddenly he could hear her soft singing, her gentle touch on his cold skin. He opened his eyes to see a white figure standing across the room and god rose all around him in thick wisps.

Demetri woke slowly, his unfocused gaze staring straight ahead for a long moment before looking up to Rose. "Why are you here...run..." He didn't realize where he was and his back sore from his muscles clenching so tightly.
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