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 Tiger by the tail(Nicole)

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PostSubject: Tiger by the tail(Nicole)   Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:12 am

You wouldn't expect the apartment Styx was in to be the apartment of a successful thief. it was a small studio apartment with the kitchen area sectioned off by a counter sticking out so the last third of the room had a sense of it's own space. There was a futon that Solomon could unfold from it's sofa form for when he had company, but usually he just slept on it as is was. A comfortable easy chair sat in the corner of the living area near the futon and facing the door. On either side of the chair rested small mountains of books containing all sorts of titles that reached up even with the arms of the chair. There was a TV, a table for meals, a phone and other of the usual devices one found in this sort of apartment. What was unusual about the place was the little hideaway under the floor of Solomon's reading chair. In there was his little stash of magical knick-knacks he had picked up on various jobs.

Occasionally, the thief would sort through the various items as he tried to figure out what they were. They weren't common, everyday magical junk. They were probably still junk, but they were at least unique. Today, on a whim, Styx opened up his stash. He played with the watch a little, watching the abbreviated dream play out. He hummed a few bars and watched the thread of light twist and turn with the music. And then he put on the ring and everything else going through his head stopped. Something about the ring had changed from the last time he had played with it.

Now before, the ring gave a faint tugging sensation like it was trying to get the thief to go somewhere. He had been tempted to follow it before, but then something would come up and he would leave it be till the next time he picked it up. Now the ring felt like it had somehow pierced his body with a giant hook, but without the pain. The insistence of the pull almost had Styx leaping to his feet... It did have him leaping to his feet. He was at the door, pulling it wide open as he was almost running. The thief stumbled as he made himself stop.

What had changed? The pulling was almost unbearable, he wanted to rip the ring off his finger to make it stop.

What had changed? He wanted to go, to run, to throw himself to whatever or whoever it was that was pulling him and serve them for all time.

What had changed? Not him.

He was Solomon William Grendel and he served no one and nothing. He went as he choose, lived as he choose and did as he choose. Sure he had his rules, but they were his own rules. He had his faults, but they were his own faults. He was himself, and he would ALWAYS be himself.

He walked calmly back into his apartment and went to his closet. He picked up his coat and his gloves and put them on, ignoring the hook in his gut and his soul for now. They didn't matter, not in the way the ring was trying to make him feel mattered anyways. The damn thing could wait as he went at his own damn pace. He calmly went to his door, and left his apartment.

Something had changed, and he was going to find out what.
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger by the tail(Nicole)   Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:09 pm

Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them.

The days were growing longer, and the nights smelled greener. The sun was just beginning to peek its warming rays on what was left of a fallen world, much to the relief of its survivors. After weeks of rain, Nicole could be counting among so many pleased to see the break in the weather. Even if the sun didn't warm it up enough to be considered nice-out, at least it was no longer wet. She wasn't about to waste the opportunity to get outside, not today but what to do?

Pulling herself away from the plastic covered window space, Nicole stretched her arms high above her head as she made her way over to her trunk. The single room space at the highest reaches of the broken clock tower had once been a storage place for maintenance supplies, and was still covered in dust and debris from the war that had torn off the clock-face just above the room and blew out all of the windows. This rats-nest now served as Nicole's hideout and the only signs that she even existed there was the make-shift cot covered in a ball of sheets on one side of the tiny space and the decrepit trunk that sat against the opposite wall. Her only true possession, the trunk was filled with stuff - Ranging from clothes to various trinkets and books she collected. She picked herself out a decent outfit, packed her bag and once ready Nicole set out for the day. Descending the spiral steps of her crumbling clock-tower that lie on the outskirts of the slums of Librium, she considered her few options for the day. Deciding to have the day for herself Nicole stepped outside, weaving her way silently through the ancient blockade still frozen in a time of war.

A short while later Nicole had made her way to the heart of the slums of Librium, to a long abandoned cemetery that ran for miles. At one time, during the war, the strip of land was piled high with heaps of bodies, but most of the heaps had been lost when the ground cracked open to swallow them up, and the remainder were piled into a mass grave by those less fortunate enough to call this place home. She followed the broken road through the center of it, the true macabre nature of the place masked by the glittering sun the peaked through and the birds that chirped high in the trees. This placed served not only as a reminder, but as a place to clear her head. There was a sort of peace she found when surrounded by so empty dead, a peace she could no longer find in a city that pretended nothing was wrong when in fact it was still infected from within.

She wondered through the cemetery for hours until she found what she was searching for to begin with. Far from the broken path, under a thicket of prickly hawthorn trees, there rose a group of over sized headstones at the top of a small slope. She stepped into the cold shade of the low sharp branches, fallen twigs crunching beneath her feet as she rounded the center of the three headstones to peer down at her own name scrolled across on the white marble. The sight of her own headstone had always filled her with a sense pleasure, to think at one point in time she had actually meant something to someone - Even if all she ever done was cause them pain and suffering. While her various other bodies were collected for evidence or burned, this one moment in time still stood alone a top this hill.

Nicole stared down at the tombstone for a short while, reminiscing the mayhem that had led her to her quick demise than stepped forward to have herself a seat. Resting her back against her marble grave stone, her slight figure all but disappeared from sight, unless a person should walk right up beside her. She pulled her pack over her lap, pulling out a glass electronic pad and began scrolling through the latest news on Terra. She was hoping to find something interesting to occupy herself with tonight, perhaps a fallen Tarren Guard to 'save' or a corrupt politician to collect upon.

She would sit peacefully for maybe an hour, flipping through wave after wave of information before Nicole picked up on something in the air. Her head cocked to the side, her eyes narrowing as she sensed an insistent tugging on her core growing stronger and stronger with each passing minute. This sense of pull she had not felt since her return from purgatory, after her body had been burned to death by the elves nearly a century ago. A certain something she could not quite put her finger on, it was familiar and yet her mind struggled with the blank it presented her with. With her aura masked to appear no stronger than that of any other mortal, and her truly mortal body still slumped against the headstone out of sight, she decided to hold her breath and wait for it; Obviously it was coming, whatever it may be.

[OOC; Took me long enough, eh? lol ]
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger by the tail(Nicole)   Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:49 am

{No worries, worth the wait.}

It hurt to fight the pulling sensation now. Like the hook in his gut was twisting itself about. Despite that, Solomon kept up his steady walking pace. Every now and again someone with the ability to see auras paled at the sight of the thief and a few called asking if he needed some help. He gave them a curt no and continued on his way, tense from the pressure and the pain. To them his aura was thrashing like a wild beast with its leg caught in a bear trap, ready to gnaw off its limb to escape. Styx didn't know that however, he just knew that as he grew closer he grew more restless.

When he came to the cemetery, he paused and looked around. It had been a long time since he had visited this place. He looked down at the broken road running through the center of the cemetery and remembered a running gun fight he had been in in this very place. He couldn't remember what he and a friend had stolen that time, but he did remember that between the two of them and their eight pursuers only he had walked out of this land of the dead. So many friends dying these days, not that anyone gave a damn about the slum-dog criminals in the city. But then, that was always the way of the world. One day the piper had to be paid for the choices you make. Solomon's was probably coming sooner or later, but then he had always known that.

Walking slowly through the cemetery, the thief's eyes slowly scanned back and forth. He followed the main path, though he probably could have just cut strait through to wherever the ring was taking him. He came to a point where he knew that he wouldn't reach his destination by keeping on the path and turned to walk through the stones. Many had more then one name on them as people didn't always have the credits to buy multiple stones in a place like this. And even if they did, there was no way to tell where the body lay. As he silently trudged through the cemetery, he paused and looked to the right. On a stone to the side was an old blood stain from the mortal wound his friend had received. Shaking his head, Styx pushed on up the small slope. There at the base of a number of trees he didn't recognize there was a single stone. Stopping for a moment, he simply looked at the stone and read the name silently to himself.

But if this was all that was pulling him, what had changed? Styx walked slowly around the stone, then stopped when the woman came into view. At the same time as his eyes fell on her face, the hook in his gut vanished. She was rather stunning, but the feel of her was one of danger. Shaking his head slowly, Styx moved till he was standing a respectable distance away from the woman he didn't know and looked her in the eye. For several long moments he was silent, simply meeting her gaze as he tried to figure out why the ring had stopped pulling.

He also figured he was a sight to see as well. A strange man who was mostly clothed, he had left his shirt when he had thrown on his coat. He hadn't even thought about it till half way to this place. He had a revolver on his hip and gloves on his hands, covering the ring. He was obviously of the rougher persuasion, a lifetime of rough living etched into his expression. Finally, the thief figured he was being rude and should at least say something.

"I apologize for apparently interrupting your reading time. But I would like to ask a Question of you. Do you happen to know anything about this?" After he spoke he pulled off his glove and held up his hand so that the woman could see the ring. Hopefully she did, because he couldn't see getting answers out of a tomb stone.
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger by the tail(Nicole)   Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:55 pm

Nicole listened for a time, straining in the haunting quiet of the cemetery to hear but a single sound out of the ordinary. Just as she was about to dismiss the pesky sensation there came the faint crunch of footsteps, surprisingly close. That pulling sensation was not nearly as intense as it was for the thief, but instead with its close vicinity Nicole could hear it whispering. She honestly thought it was the stranger muttering something about 'dead is dead' , but she could not make out the most of it. A frown glimmered across her lovely features, her face turning to spy the man that now stepped into view.

There was nothing to be said right away, and the shirtless stranger seemed content with that as well. Her bright hazel hues slowly roamed down his rag-tag appearance, curious as to what led him here and so unexpectedly it would seem. Her sights jumped back up to his face, and although she still could make out the whispering his lips were clearly not moving. Her brows rose, giving her a curious expression.

"I apologize for apparently interrupting your reading time. But I would like to ask a Question of you. Do you happen to know anything about this?"

" Apparently?" She quipped, partly to scold and because she was impatient. Her lips would remain parted, as she meant to say more, but all those words would be lost at the sight of the ring he presented. Now it all made sense. All that anger melted from her expression, replaced by a wide-eyed look of wonder. How had it survived? " How has this come to be in your possession?" The words escaped in barely a whisper, and Nicole scrambled to get to her feet and gather her bag as he would no-doubt explain?

She drew a step closer after his explanation, her gloved hands encircling his fist but not quiet touching. She could hear the melody of it now, a smile tugging at her lips as she tilted her head to listen to it and sang softly...

This is a gift, it comes with a price.
Who is the lamb? And who is the knife?
Midas is king
And he holds me so tight.
And turns me to gold in the morning light.

As abruptly as she drew up to the man, Nicole yanked her hands back and looked up to him sternly." Let me see it. " She demanded, extending her hand and her fingers curling to rush him along. Assuming he hands it over, Nicole would turn it over and over in her palm for a few seconds then look up sharply to meet his gaze with a devious grin," You obviously have no idea what this ring is for. " She opened her palm to reveal it, secretly knowing the plain jewel belonged to her but instead..

" It is a key. " She whispered intriguingly.

" And I may be mistaken, but this may be the great treasure of Midas. The golden king. " Her face jetted to the side, alarmed but by what? " This way. " There was no room for protest with Nicole, she would go hurrying off in the direction she looked with the 'key' without a second thought. She was fast, her pace sure to keep him on his toes and she planned to remain just a few steps ahead of him no matter what speed he decided to keep. Nicole led the way back down the hill, crossing over the broken path to lead him across a grassy field of flat graves until the land began to slope drastically down. There at the bottom of the slope stood a small, single room, black-marble crypt. The outside, like so many other tombs of its time, had a romanesque feel to it with its carved columns on either side and olive branches lining the top.

Nicole charged right up to the crypt, marching up the small steps until she stood before the iron gate. " Gold in the morning light." She whispered, her words amplified by the open space just past the gate. There wouldn't appear to be anything exciting lurking within in the small space inside the crypt, but Nicole was all but bouncing with exciting as she hovered by the gate. She lifted her hand, presenting the ring on her flat palm for the stranger to take back. He had no idea what he was walking into with the fiend, but the great actress had put on such a good front. She turned to flash him an excited grin, her fingers hooked on the old iron gate blocking them from entering. Nicole was ready to answer his questions, curious to see if he would take the bait.
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger by the tail(Nicole)   Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:27 am

The woman didn't seem surprised to see him, only curious at first. She didn't seem scared of a half naked and armed man either. That also told him something right there. Whoever this woman was, she didn't seem threatened or concerned about his sudden appearance. Which meant either she was hopelessly naive or thought she was capable enough to handle him on her own. With that little nagging sense of danger in the back of his head and the ring's weird reaction to this woman he was going to go with the latter.

She had started with and angry reply to his words before she cut herself off with a look of wonder and a question. She was a stranger to him, so Solomon wasn't about to go into all the details about how he had gotten the thing on during a burglary. But he could tell her most of the truth, just had to leave that part out.

"Got it while I was on a job. At least I think I got it on that job. I had finished my work and then when I got home I found the ring in my coat pocket. Not sure how it got there, maybe I picked it up when looking for something else and slipped it into my pocket unconsciously. I couldn't return it, and to be honest I was curious about it." He shrugged as if to say he didn't think it was a big deal. And honestly considering what else he had stolen from that manor they probably didn't miss that ring one bit. Just a little extra something that went into Solomon's collection after the job.

The woman demanded the ring from him, which caused him to raise one brow. But considering that she seemed to know what it was he decided to hand it over. He was more curious than anything. The mystery lady seemed happy to tease him with a story of the ring being a key and a part of the great treasure of Midas. She beckon him to follow and he did, he want to see where this path led.

"So this is a treasure of Midas, the king that let his greed destroy him and all he loved. A dangerous legacy to be a part of then, if even half the story is true." He didn't elaborate because if the woman knew about the ring and it was as she said then she probably knew the whole story by heart.

They came to a crypt and she moved to the gate. She wasn't letting them enter yet, she first presented him the ring. With a small bit of hesitation, he plucked the ring from her hand and tucked it into his coat pocket. "Perhaps an introduction is in order before we proceed. Most call me Styx. And you are?"

Whether or not she answered or even acknowledged the question he would then bow slightly as he spoke next. "And if perhaps beauty would like to take the lead on this expedition. And perhaps explain a bit more about what makes this ring the great treasure of Midas. And maybe also why you wish to share that information as well." If she led them into the crypt he would follow. But the thief was wary now. His neck hair was tingling and he felt an increasing restlessness.

It wasn't the same as the restless feeling from the ring, but more of like when he walked onto one of Delvin's jobs. He was getting himself into trouble now. Seems if trouble didn't find him, he still found it.
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger by the tail(Nicole)   Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:03 pm

[OOC I'm still here! Just misplaced my muse for a time... ]

"So this is a treasure of Midas, the king that let his greed destroy him and all he loved. A dangerous legacy to be a part of then, if even half the story is true."

" Ah! So you've heard of it hmmm?" A devious smile played upon her painted lips." But you have doubt it would seem. You could leave it all to me then," She lifted her chin defiantly. Nicole leaned forward, her hand still looped around the iron bars to keep her from flopping face first. She cocked her head to the side to curiously looking at the half-dressed Styx as he introduced himself, following it up with all the predictable questions. " Styx, hm? What does your mother call you?" She wondered out loud, keeping her grin whether he would answer or not. It almost seemed as if she meant to over look his other questions, but after a moments pause Nicole pulled herself upright properly." My mother would have called me Nicole." She introduced with a polite nod of her head, blatantly dropping a clue right there.

"And if perhaps beauty would like to take the lead on this expedition. And perhaps explain a bit more about what makes this ring the great treasure of Midas. And maybe also why you wish to share that information as well."

Nicole would step away from the iron gate, turning to face it." Ladies first, hm? " She murmured, moving to turn the iron latch not far from styx, but it would catch on a lock with a loud CLANK. " Now that's a problem." She announced, looking to Styx and drawing back a step so that he may have a look. Nicole knew well enough the lock did not matter, she could take care of it with a flick of her wrist, but she wanted to see what he would do about it. She snaked a slender arm through the metal door, pointing her finger into the darkened space," Not to mention the marble slab we have to get through..." She added, wagging her finger at the barely recognizable entrance leading down below the crypt. " This is not going to be as easy as just walking right in... " Because that would be too obvious..

[Sorry there isn't more than just that lol]
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger by the tail(Nicole)   Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:25 am

[OoC: No worries, I know how it is sometimes.]

She was playing with him, at least a little. Not that the thief didn't mind exchanging a little banter with a lady, but the situation was strange and the hair on the back of his neck was still tingling. It was throwing him off a little. The woman's question about what his mother would call him almost brought the thief up short, but he covered the small hesitation well enough he thought. Her name he learned was Nicole and he thought for a moment before finally answered her musings. "My mother would call me Solomon." Returning her nod with one of his own.

And then their progress was blocked by what looked like a simple lock. He looked at the lock for a moment and then back to Nicole. "And I'm guessing you don't have the key for this crypt then." He stated a little dryly as his gaze turned back to the lock. "Give me a little space please." As he spoke he reached into his pocket and triggered the energies that would open a hole into timeless space. It probably would feel weird to Nicole if she was sensing auras, pure Chaos ripping apart space to the place between seconds. When his hands came out of his pocket there was what looked like a folded leather wallet, a couple of stones, and a small flashlight for when they entered the crypt.

He would wait till Nicole backed up enough before he moved forward to the gate. His instincts were screaming at him not to turn his back on the woman and that was getting him a little on edge. If she did back up enough he would move forward and look at the gate. The first thing he did was pass the two stones in front of it. They were simple semi-precious gems with a minor enchantment to light up if a certain type of magic was around. One was designed to detect wards and other spells of a similar nature. An essential tool for a thief when the world had so much magic in it. That one remained dark as he passed it over and around the gate.

The other he had gotten because sometimes the places he broke into bound magical creatures and spirits into place to act as guardians. And on the rare occasion that he had to do a little grave robbing he had found the stone detected naturally bound spirits and undead just as well, along with other things that might haunt a cemetery. It didn't detect Nicole herself though, with her aura pulled so tightly in a mask around her and her standing a little ways away. It did detect a faint trace of the fiend's aura on the bars where she touched them. The glow from the stone was so faint Solomon almost wondered if it was just a trick of the light. But in the end he guessed there had been a creature here a long time ago and the aura just hadn't dissipated fully as the iron held it trapped.

With the magical side of checking the crypt done, Styx did a quick scan to make sure he didn't see any other kind of wires or alarms. He didn't think there would be in a place out here. But the edgy feeling he was getting was making him cautious. Once he figured there were no alarms he opened up the leather wallet he had removed earlier and pulled out a couple of lock picks. With such a simple lock it was moments before there was a sharp click and he swung the gate open.

Putting away his lock picks, Solomon looked over to Nicole. "Your first barrier is removed my dear. Shall we take a closer look at the second one?" Solomon tucked the flashlight into his one hand so he could hold it up in front of him with his thumb toward his face. He then pressed his ward detection and magical creature detection stones into the space between his hand and his flashlight. With how much Nicole was pulling in her aura she probably didn't have to worry about the detection stone unless she actually touched the thing. But anything that she touched that channeled magic well may hold onto her aura for a bit and be enough for the stone to sense.
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger by the tail(Nicole)   Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:29 pm

" Solomon. "

Nicole would repeat his name under her breath, giving the simple name a rather exotic spin before nodding her head with approval. She would accept that, be it the truth or otherwise, and when he requested it Nicole drew back several steps to give him space. Ever curious, she watched him closely as he pulled a few items from his pocket and set to work. With her aura pulled in so tight, she would not risk detection and therefore could not sense the brief burst of chaos that occurred when he reached into his bottomless pockets. What she did taste, however, was Solomon's nervousness. Like a prickling in the air between them, it pleased her, her hazel hues locking onto the back of his head while he positioned himself in front of the gate.

Nicole stood just outside of his arm's reach, her arms crossed behind her back all dainty-like as she watched him pass the stones in front of the gate. Opening her mouth she drew in a breath, about ready to start with the questions, when the second of the two stones he passed lit up ever so lightly. Cocking her head to the side, Nicole wondered what it meant. There was a brief second of fretting over the minor event, though it hardly showed outwardly except through her eyes that quickly back and forth between Solomon and his stones. When he said not a word about it she calmed. Must not have been important after all, but she wasn't about to let it go that easily either.

She held her ground, casually passing a glance from left to right to be sure no one else was creeping up on them while he picked at the lock. By the time she turned back to see his progress the gate was swung open and he was preparing for the next challenge. She beamed up at him," We shall. " Nicole agreed with him, stepping back up the steps. She slipped past Solomon and the gate, stepping into the cramped space of the crypt to quickly scan the gold-plated names long forgotten on the marble walls. " What do your rocks tell you Solomon?" She asked softly, reaching out to brush her fingers across the dusty name of 'Edward Ramsden' - as if hardly concerned by his answer when in fact she hung on his every word. The walls on all sides were lined with gold-plated names and dates, a few even had faces frozen in time staring out at them in the musty dark. No matter what he said in response to her she would calmly nod, turning back to face his general direction and look down to the hardly noticeable square outline on the dusty ground at her feet. It was also in this moment that the ring would begin to pulse from where ever Solomon had stashed it. The throbbing it produced would ring in his ears, but what did it want now?

" Beneath this rock lies a passage way, if I should remember the directions correctly. I originally heard of the supposed treasure of Midas several years back from a man I worked with during the war. I think Geo wanted to boost our moral after our latest defeat, but than he showed me a picture of your ring...Apparently, he was not kidding when he said he planned on finding the treasure once the war was over. " She spoke with a sense of reverie, her tone dropping to but a whisper when she added," Too bad the war will never end for him." Lifting her face, she looked to Solomon." Now, what ever shall we do?" Her gaze dropped to the rocks pinned in his palm, no doubt contemplating how she would be getting around their detection already. She appreciated the challenge, but what to do about it?
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger by the tail(Nicole)   Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:09 pm

Nicole slipped in before him and he moved into the crypt, closing the gates behind them after making sure that they wouldn't lock themselves again. He looked over to his companion as she asked her questions about the stones and he saw no harm in telling her. "People often ward crypts if they have the money for it and some will even bind guardians to a place like this. So one stone is for the wards and one for the guardians." Styx spoke softly as he moved to the wall. "Gold plating, wasted on the dead. But people want to remember and want others to remember them."

A sound rang in his ears and Styx had to shake his head to clear it. He looked down at his pocket, where the ring lay. As Nicole started speaking he looked up and paid close attention. So the treasure of Midus, might be enough for a man to retire on. And if one followed the moral of that story then that sort of greed could destroy a man. He had seen it happen to men in his profession be destroyed by trying to pull that one big job. But he also knew that to win in this game you had to take risks. Maybe the story was true and maybe it was false. But unless he went he would never know.

"Would you move away from the rock. I want to check the stone for wards and the like as well." Solomon moved closer to the Rock slab. He moved closer and began checking for wards. He looked over the stones carefully and grimaced"Earth-binding, simple enough charm to beat. It draws strength from the earth so... that means.". His fingers traced over the stone, finding small symbols carved at the four cardinal direction. Reaching into his timeless pocket, he pulled out a small packet of herbs.

"Need to restock the powdered hens teeth." Styx muttered to himself as he mixed several herbs on one of the symbols. He then pulled out his knife and cut his thumb. Carefully he spilled three drops of blood and the mixture began to smoke. Backing away, Solomon looked at the stone. The smoke began to thicken and cracks began to form.

"I got another faint reading on the guardian stone" Styx told Nicole as he drew his pistol. "It was faint, but there might be something waiting down there."
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger by the tail(Nicole)   Tue May 01, 2012 4:58 pm

Again, Nicole drew back at Solomon's request, backing away until she touched the black marble walls while she watched him wave his warding rocks over the slab on the ground. She was surprised by his attention to detail, he was the first to notice the earth binding charm and further he knew what to do about it. Standing back against the wall she watched as he produced some powders but all her admiration for the skilled mans work would be lost the moment he cut his thumb.

It was as if the world suddenly stopped, moving in slow motion while he dropped a bit of blood and that was all she could see. All she could think of. Her body reacted to the stimulant, her breathing quickening and sharp, claw-like nails sprouting from her fingernails and she was all but drooling on herself. Nicole pressed herself firmly back against the marble wall, a hand lifting to cover her mouth to shield her shark-like teeth from view, but the precautionary movement could easily mistaken as a need to protect herself from the smoke pluming from his mixture. Her hazel hues peered dead ahead, wide and empty as the stone covering their path down cracked and fell into the hidden tunnel hidden beneath.

Styx's warnings fell on deaf ears, all her thoughts focused on controlling the rage and hunger that wanted to burst forth from her and devour the man. Nicole didn't want to risk detection, not just yet, but her aura was throbbing and the monster within her demanded release. No doubt that was part of the glow his rocks were trying to hint him of. As he prepared for whatever might lay in the darkness ahead, Nicole suddenly charged him," Me first! " She squeaked in a girlish tone, a clawed hand slapping at Solomon's hand with a beastly strength in the hopes of knocking his flash light and rocks from his hand. Whether they fell or not, Nicole's aura burst forth in that moment and focused on the flash light, bursting the bulb.

Nicole pushed off from him gently, all of her movements unnaturally quick, and went rushing down into the blackness of the tunnel ahead of him. Unsure of his mental cognition, Nicole was careful to stick him with her seeder when she pushed off of him - linking their minds through a thin mental lace. Her girlish laughter filled the darkened space as she disappeared, her footsteps echoing back until it grew faint and as suddenly as she had jumped him there was nothing but thick silence.

The tunnel that he had revealed was just tall enough for a six foot man, but wide enough for no more than one person at a time to descend. There was a crumbling set of stairs leading down that wrapped around in a complete circle, going straight down before it opened to a wider hall. The hallway was lined with many archways on either side of the hall that led into what one could assume was a room, but it would be hard to tell for sure without actually going into the space to inspect. Should he choose to go down the flight of stairs and enter the hall, Styx would begin to hear a low humming sound. The sound would be hard to distinguish - was that breathing?
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger by the tail(Nicole)   Tue May 01, 2012 8:03 pm

Solomon didn't notice the changes happening to Nicole as he worked, but he did hear her breathing increase. He didn't trust her, but then again she was the only one that knew anything about the ring. Her hand was covering her mouth and he figured it had to be the smoke. But there was something about her eyes that was weird as she stared at the stone blocking the passage. His eyes were drawn back to the slab when it finally crumbled. Even as his eyes moved Nicole darted ahead, her hand knocking the flashlight and the stones from his grip. "Gah, watch it woman. Didn't you hear a word I...." His guardian stone was shining brightly now as it bounced away and down the tunnel, whatever it was had to be right on top of them now.

He didn't move toward the tunnel as Nicole vanished into the darkness, pausing to look at his flashlight. The damn thing looked like it was busted, picking it up he gave it a shake and heard something rattle. Cursing softly to himself he tossed it to the side. His Guardian stone was gone as well, it had bounced down the tunnel and even its glow had vanished. He managed to get his ward stone back and put it in his coat pocket. He was starting to get a headache, but it might just be the thought of how this was starting to look like a bad idea.

In truth the headache was something more then just the thought of how wrong things were turning. His aura lashed furiously as Nicole planted the seed of her power into Solomon's mind. While she wasn't doing anything at the moment, the Chaos the suffused Styx's aura was reacting to the demonic aura surrounding that seed. Right now all it did was writhe like a snake with its head caught by a forked stick, but it seemed to constantly probe and push to grip onto the seed.

While he was unaware of the turmoil of his aura, the thief was pondering a new train of thought. According to Nicole, she had never seen the ring before except as a picture. But the reason he had come here was because the ring had lead him too Nicole. That didn't make sense to him. If the ring was suppose to be the key to some great treasure, then wouldn't it point to the treasure and not some random person? But if he followed that line of thought, why would Nicole lead him here? And why had she dived so suddenly into crypt so quickly. This reminded him of...

{Damn it, I think something wants to eat me... again} He really should turn back at this point. But what had he come here for in the first place? He had wanted to know what had changed about the ring, and he hadn't learned that. He had a job to do, even if he had given it to himself, and he always finished his jobs. Reaching into his pocket, Solomon pulled out a lighter and flicked the lid off. The dancing flame gave him some illumination as he moved down into the crypt. He was calmer now that he figured that Nicole was just luring him down here to either kill him or eat him. He was on his own and that's how he always worked.

Though it might have been nice, working a job with someone for once instead....
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger by the tail(Nicole)   Wed May 02, 2012 12:07 am

As Solomon descended into the tunnel the darkness surrounded him, leaving him with what little flickering light the lighter provided for him to see with. Nicole was surprised by the chaotic reaction of Styx's aura, at first hesitant to follow through with connection but as his aura probed and pushed to grip the seed she had sewn she let it go. It worked much like a key, unlocking his mind to her, but much to her surprise it worked the same with her own mind. Realizing her mistake she tried to recoil, but found their aura's bound together by that thin leash she had set in place. The pulling would only cause him more pain, but it would subside as she gave up on retreat. It was too late for that now that her seed was in place. Not only could she invade his mind, but he could do the same if he were coherent enough to do so.

Hungry...Hungry...Hungry...Feeeed me!

Nicole's thoughts now flowed between them easily, as did his own thoughts, but her angry voice stood out in the sudden jumble of thoughts as the two of them tripped over each other. To the untrained mind it may be assumed she was talking, especially considering the blackened surrounding - Who knew where exactly she could be hiding anyway? She could be right behind him now, for all h knew, whispering those angry words.

So brave..Alone in the dark. He's figured it out. Not quick enough though. You don't get to keep him. Hungry...hungry.

Nicole had come to a stop quite some distance down the tunnel and turned to face the way back just in time to see the faint flicker of light that must be Solomon just reaching the end of the stairs. She side stepped into a nearby archway, pleased to know exactly where he was at this time, but at that same moment she wanted to charge him again. There would be a flash of bloody gore shared between them, her insatiable hunger trying to override her logical thoughts.

Take him, take him nooooow...

Her thoughts egged her on, but she grabbed onto the archway walls firmly and clung there. No. Nicole needed to focus herself, remember her objective set from the beginning and follow through. Closing her eyes tight, she followed the leash between them..

Oooh, story time! Story time!

The link between them she now abused, focusing her all her minds attentions to fabricating an entirely new scene. Out of nowhere a soft light flickered into existence throughout the tunnel so that he could officially see the path leading down and all of the darkened archways leading this way and that. Water dripped from above now, and the walls were no longer dirt but wet concrete. Overall, the black tunnel now resembled a damp industrial building. He might just be able to make out the half of Nicole that stood out in the archway far down the tunnel, but better yet..Just past her shone a bright array of gold on tantalizing display.

With her platform in place, Nicole opened her eyes to take a look around at her illusion. She had done better before, but this simple set up would due for now. To be honest, she wasn't quite sure if it was safe to follow through with her illusions. Considering how strong their link had become..

Can you do the same, Solomon? What will you build for me?

Nicole peaked a look down the tunnel to spy Solomon, then scooted into the room disappearing from sight. It was in that moment that a more immediate threat made itself know. First with a the faint shuffle of movement, and then out from the archway on the right of Styx stumbled a man. It wouldn't have seemed so threatening, if not for the fact that the man's head hung backwards off of his neck and blood sputtered from the wound down his chest as he made his approach. Worse yet, he was not alone as the dreadful sounds of movement and moans of the dead made themselves known from all sides. Even the stairs he had just descended echoed with the sound of falling bodies. The morbid dead were funneling him forward, that much was clear.
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger by the tail(Nicole)   Wed May 02, 2012 1:39 am

Solomon shook his head as his headache started to get worse. His aura was thrashing about as the connection was formed and words flooded into his ears. Only they were more clear then any he had heard with just his ears. He turned and looked over his shoulder, certain that those words were practically being whispered into his ear. He could feel it, Nicole's hunger that was. It wasn't just words that he was hearing. He spoke then, as much to drown out the feeling of hunger that was caressing his mind and soul as it was to drown out the words. She was starting to spout of something about being brave and the dark and he honestly didn't care at this point.

"You know I once dated a girl that tried to sacrifice me once to some dark god or demon or whatever that weird cult they were in worshiped. Not really what I was expecting on a second date. She said she was throwing a party with some friends so I came over and boom, I get knocked in the head and tied to a sacrificial alter. Man was that a chore getting out of that mess. And you know what the last thing she screamed as I was running away? 'Call Me', I can not tell you how I swore never to date another goth girl again. A friend told me later she had apparently traded worship for dark whatever when her cult got shredded by something and she had became a Blood Doll for a Vamp. So maybe she had a fetish for being eaten, but I got to tell you it really isn't my thing."

The image of blood flashed in his head and he stiffened for a moment, but it wasn't his blood-lust he was feeling. Then pain stabbed him right between his eyes. He almost dropped his gun as he pressed that hand against his head. He looked around and there was more light, he could see without his lighter. Snapping it shut and pocketing it, he looked around till he spotted Nicole. And just beyond her was a shimmering pile of Gold. That made him blink, and then narrow his eyes. Wasn't she, wasn't she lying about the gold before? He knew she was lying about the ring, she had to be. But apparently there was gold.

Nicole darted away and before he could move another pain stabbed him between the eyes. Gods damn this stupid headache, what was causing it. A moan came from the side and as he looked he spoke. "Great, zombies." The thing shuffled closer to him and he could hear more approaching him from all directions, including the one he had just came from.

Unknown to him his aura was thrashing even more violently now, the thin chains of the illusion flexing and giving and then tightening back down around the rolling mass of chaos that was Solomon's mind and soul. The energies of the aura around Styx slowly sunk into the chains, twisting them and then something changed when the thief put away his gun. When he was unsure of what bullets would do to these undead he knew something that seemed to destroy everything except himself. He cupped his hand and his aura drew on the energies of pure Chaos. And even as this energy soaked into Solomon's aura, so to did the infused aura soak into the illusion.

Styx reached out to the undead beast getting closer and formed his magic into the destructive energies he knew it could become. The thing was almost on him when the ball formed and touched the zombie in the chest. It ripped and tore into the undead husk, ripping apart the magic that held it up as well as the decaying body. Stepping out of the way as it fell, Solomon started making his way to the room where he had seen Nicole. He was proceeding slowly, trying to keep from falling into a trap as he approached the one he figured betrayed him. Well, maybe betray was a strong word really. After all, this was only their first dance together. And there did appear to be gold as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger by the tail(Nicole)   Wed May 02, 2012 3:43 pm

-[ooc: Hopefully I didn't jump too far ahead.]-

Nicole had chuckled at his story, pure and genuine laughter at his random outburst. Despite the glimmer of enjoyment, her thoughts rang clear and without filter. Then maybe you shouldn't be so stupid, Solomon. Maybe your luck has finally run out this time. She had moved herself into the corner just to the left of her entryway, settling down on the floor in a seated position to wait it out. She had lifted a sort of invisibility over herself, making her figure appear more as a black shadow than an actual woman. Maybe...

Her thoughts had trailed into nothingness as she felt the shift in his aura. It was the first time she actually realized why her seeder had been locked and why he had been drawn here to begin with. Chaos. Pure chaos, bound with time, and it was growing in intensity and spreading like wildfire. There came that panic again, encompassing her hunger and all other rational thought. What could a man do with that power? What would it do to her? Nicole had no real understanding of it at all, but she could feel him gathering it.

" Solomon! " She screamed his name, terror filling her voice just as he blasted the zombie before him. It was too late and the shock of the pure chaos threw them into complete darkness. The black would be stunning, but only last a single second before the lights and the setting flickered back into existence. Something had changed, and for Styx it would be the horde of zombies that had seemingly doubled. Hands reached desperately out from the dark archways he passed by on his route down the tunnel, grasping and scratching at anything they could get their hands on. Their cries had doubled, overpowering the humming and even the throbbing of the ring. Adding to the strain of the horror was the constant flickering of lights, from pitch black to light again, as the illusion buckled as a result of the pure chaos.

As for Nicole, so confident was she in her invisibility that when her little world blacked out she actually scoffed bitterly, So he cancelled her out? But no sooner had that thought crossed her mind did the lights flick back on and she would find several bodies hovering within her own space. Each time the illusion faltered then returned those dead drew closer and closer, circling around her little corner. " Oh, hey guys.." She spoke nervously, but as if they were just anyone else - not brain hungry zombies. " What are you doing?" She frowned, looking up into over a dozen scornful dead faces that now pressed together tightly to get at her little corner," How the hell do you see me? Your gonna blow my cover, hey!!" She quipped, just as the horde came toppling over her. Nicole would roll herself up onto her hands and knees, at first squished between the massive amount of bodies that had piled towards her, but she use her preternatural speed and strength to yank herself free.

The flickering continued, disorientating but there would be no further traps laid out for Solomon as he made his approach. Although, the horde on his tail was quite demanding. Just as he would get close to the archway he saw Nicole disappear into she would suddenly burst out of the doorway. Bodies flopped to the side, but they were nothing compared to the mob still standing and right at her back." Okay, I GET IT!? " She screamed, looking down to Styx angerily as she twirled around to back hand an approaching dead. " What have you done now?" These words left with more exasperation due to her struggle to keep hitting those undead closest to her. The mob of undead she appeared to be handling at first, now collided against her to pin her into the wall. The mass also blocked Styx from continuing forward, so that his own horde would get closer and closer with each passing second.

" This doesn't make sense! " She cried out, her hands held up in front of her to create an extremely open shield against the mass slowly crushing her. Her arms would hold the bodies back, but their arms slipped through to scratch at her face, arms, and anything they could get a grip on. This wasn't how her illusions were supposed to work! Then it dawned upon her. The little she-devil mustered all of her unnatural strength to push back at the horde that threatened to squish her, managing to get a step away from the way before she thrusted them away. Just barely enough space for her to slip out, and POOF - She was gone.

As suddenly as Nicole had disappeared, she reappeared beside Styx. " Hit me! " She screamed up at him. " Hit me now! Knock me out. " She aggressively pushed at him, panicking as the mess they had created was closing in from all sides all around them. She stepped right up against him, grabbing hold of his collar and pulling herself tight so that she could face him," Just... don't leave me here." That was said with less of a command, and more so of request before she pushed away and screamed," Do it now!? " There was really no other option, the mob of screeching dead was closing in fast around them.

Her theory was that if she was unconscious, than her illusion would stop. That was generally how it had always worked in the past, should she be injured or unconscious the illusion would stop. Either that, or at the very least she wouldn't remember getting her body torn to pieces and forget Solomon, he would be on his own. There was no doubt in her mind though that it would stop once she was out, but what the absorption of the remaining chaos would do to her she could not say.

Should Styx follow through with her demands, once she was out cold - which it would take a few blows to do so - it would take but a few moments before the illusion would black out. Shrouded in complete darkness, the silence would be deafening and the only thing that remained was the throbbing of the ring which now tugged Styx further down the darkness and away from the fiend. There in the blackened depths was a glowing blue dot, the gold lost with the illusion as far as he could tell. While in the opposite direction leading back he might be able to just make out his glowing rock on the ground from before.
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger by the tail(Nicole)   Wed May 02, 2012 8:54 pm

The sound of laughter echoed ahead of him, even as other words seemed to whisper in his ears. Snorting softly to himself, Solomon couldn't help but wonder if the voice was right. But he had followed the ring here to this woman and he wasn't going to get any answers if he had just left. Still Nicole had a point, he had walked directly into a trap that he knew was there. Only time would tell if she was completely right, mainly in the form of whether he walked out of the trap alive and in one piece.

His name, screamed in terror surprised him as his spell tore apart his undead attacker. All the lights died out for a moment, and then they flickered back on. There were more moans now, and he could see and hear more of the undead approaching him. His pace quickened as grasping hands appeared of of the different corridors that lined his path to the room with Nicole and the gold. He had to admit, he was getting nervous now. With this many undead the only thing he could think of to take care of them was his most powerful spell and they were underground with nowhere to run. If he used it now he could collapse the tunnels of the swirling vortexes he summoned might destroy them when the couldn't escape. His best bet was probably getting to the puppet master and having her deal with these things. Or perhaps him dealing with her might solve his problem.

So when Nicole appeared at the doorway again, Solomon was a little bit surprised. She seemed to be having her own problem with the undead and she was blaming him? What did he do to deserve blame for the mess they were apparently in. His way blocked of ahead by the hoard after Nicole and his own hoard coming up rapidly behind him real fear and worry were starting to bubble beneath the surface. Maybe he had gotten a little over his head this time. He turned and launched a few more Temporal Blasts at the hoard following him before they could reached him. Well he would have to think of something before they got to much closer or he would go down under a press of bodies like it looked like was about to happen to Nicole it seemed.

She was screaming something about it not making sense and Styx had to laugh. It bubbled up from his throat and he pushed the fear away from himself. His mouth twisted into a grin at how many times he had heard that before when he had gotten mixed into something, maybe it really was his fault. He darted ahead and closed in on his own hoard. He stuck his hand right next to one of the zombies heads and snapped his finger in its ear like he was trying to get its attention. And he was, he was using one of his other spells by trying to get the zombie to turn and pay attention to the spot he had placed his hand. As the undead turned its head, Styx's magic took affect and the hoard member to the right of the one he had chosen seemed to become human to the rest of the hoard. Well it actually was still a zombie, but it was no longer recognized as part of the group and they turned on it.

The thief turned around to see Nicole screaming in his face about knocking her out. She was grabbing him and holding herself close as her own hoard was closing in. Styx's hoard would be done with their distraction and coming back after them in a few moments once they finished ripping their fellow apart. He honestly didn't know what knocking Nicole out would accomplish, but she seemed to think it would do something. So he obliged the woman, or whatever she was. Pushing Nicole back so he could get some room, Solomon cocked his fist back before slamming it into the woman's chin. Hopefully it would rattle her brain and make this knocking out business as quick and painless as possible, but if not he would hit her as many times as needed to accomplish the goal.

For a few moments it looked like nothing happened, then everything turned black. No sound permeated the air except his and Nicole's breathing. Digging blindly in his pocket, Solomon pulled out his lighter and flicked on the flame. The walls were dirt and the crypt seemed normal now. And there was no gold it seemed. Sighing and shaking his head, Styx looked down at the form of Nicole. He should probably leave her here, he could check to see what that tugging sensation was and then get the hell out of there. But, that wasn't really his style. Setting his lighter down to the side so it could give a little bit of light in the tunnel, Styx picked up Nicole and draped her across his shoulder. He would take a quick look in the direction the ring was pulling, and then he would take her to the surface. One arm kept Nicole from moving around too much, the other reached down and picked up the lighter. With all that in hand, Solomon started walking toward that glowing blue dot.
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger by the tail(Nicole)   Thu May 03, 2012 5:35 pm

With each step further down the tunnel that giant hook that was the ring pulling him into the darkness grew more intense. As the tension grew the deafening silence was broken, not only by their gentle breathing but a muffled voice of a child. The closer he got to the glowing dot, the louder that child's voice would become but the words were still indistinguishable but clearly coming from his pocket. Perhaps the ring?

Nindol zhah natha belbol, ol chu xuil natha price.
Vel'uss zhah l' lamb? Lu' vel'uss zhah l' velvel?
Midas zhah valuk Lu' uk miren uns'aa ji tight.
Lu' shar'tlegen uns'aa ulu plak'la wun l' kre'tan ssussun.

Nonsense, it spoke. Unless he could understand the elven language it whispered. The same foreign words repeated themselves in a constant loop, growing louder with each step closer he drew to the glowing blue dot. The throbbing of the ring had intensified as well, like a set of drums beating rapidly with each step he took. As he passed through the tunnel, the space suddenly opened into a large rounded room. With the flickering light of his lighter he wouldn't be able to make out the end of the blackness, but he could just feel the opening in the air. In the center of the room there sparkled a diamond skull, resting on a slab of rock - like something out of Indian Jones.

The pure clear diamond sparkled in the fluttering light, with one eye made of ruby and the other of what appeared to be sapphire. It was that sapphire eye that glowed bright in the dark, but now that Styx had come right up on it the glow had dissipated. Replacing the glow, should he look closely, there appeared to be a swirling shape in the dark blue sapphire. Was it really moving? The thundering throb of the ring and the yanking pull suddenly climaxed, intensifying the discovery before..

Take it..

The child's voice emanating from the ring whispered hauntingly, a breeze rushing at him from behind and then there was nothing. No whispering nonsense. No throbbing or yanking from the ring. Only their breathing and the sparkling crystal head that faced him. Should he choose to take it, nothing would happen. There were no more traps, just the ring willing him to lay claim to the sparkling skull.

-[OOC: Its your turn, and you can just end the thread with your post. We'll pick up in a new thread where ever you decide to have it. ]-
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger by the tail(Nicole)   Thu May 03, 2012 7:29 pm

Solomon glanced down at his pocket as words started to spring from it. He couldn't understand a word of it, but he did know that it sounded like elven to his ears. As he progressed the words grew louder and he began to feel the pull of the ring grow stronger, he was getting closer to his goal. He felt a mixture of anxiety and excitement as he neared whatever it was that drew him on. And then his breath caught as his eyes fell on the diamond skull.

It was beautiful, and it had to be worth a fortune. That was if he could even find someone that could afford the thing. He circled it carefully, looking for anything that might be a trap either physically or magically. After a moment he pulled out his ward detection stone and waved it over the skull a couple of time, but even that came away clean. The rings pull was intensifying to almost unbearable levels and then came the whisper. The thief froze in place as he looked from the skull to his pocket and back. He then glanced at the fiend over his shoulder. Somehow the three were connected, the ring, the skull, and the woman. He wonder if he should take the skull, but then he thought to himself {Why don't we just see where this leads.}

He grabbed the skull and pushed it into his timeless pocket. He had to take out some of his B&E gear and a few other things, but those got distributed into the containers on his clothing easily enough. After that it was a simple matter to carry Nicole out of the crypt, he only needed to stop and retrieve his Guardian Stone. He was actually a little surprised at how suddenly it all came to a close, but then again if all that mischief was from Nicole it made sense how knocking her out would have stopped it.

Once they were outside Styx gently set Nicole down so she was resting against the side of the crypt. He paused there for a moment, looking at the fiend. It was always trouble, mixing with one of her kind. But then again it was just now getting interesting. Reaching into his timeless pocket, he pulled out a sheet of paper and pencil. He quickly scribbled a note and folded it before putting it in Nicole's closed hand.

When the fiend woke up, she would probably find the note quickly. It was a short one, written is a neat script.

-Tag, your it.-
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