[Wild Talents] 1-3: In Medias Res -- Negotiations

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Re: [Wild Talents] 1-3: In Medias Res -- Negotiations

Postby EtB » Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:27 pm

Lerrick Walker
Shut my eyes, I know it's now or never
Ride or die, I let my heart surrender
Rise up, I was born a fighter
Dancin' in a ring of fire

Obrimos | Adamantine Arrow | Left-Handed Hunter

Lerrick reads the message, deftly avoiding people as he continues to walk. It doesn't take him long, but he dedicates extra time to memorizing the words, their sequence and flow, the rhyme and meter. He doesn't say them aloud, though he is tempted; it has too much the feel of a charm, and as childish as it might be, Lerrick knows enough about magic to be wary.

Refolding the letter, satisfied for now that he has memorized it, Lerrick places it in his pocket. He'll study it again, perhaps even make a copy of it later on, but for now, he lets the words tumble around in his mind as he paces through the hospital. It's time to check in on Meadow and see if she will need more time or what other arrangements might be made.

He is not particularly worried about the threat; it isn't in his nature to let such concerns distract him. He is forewarned and he will do what seems reasonable to prepare; worrying beyond that is pointless and counterproductive. He will kill them, or they will kill him; everything else is details. In many ways, this warning was inevitable; if you make a particular group your enemy, it is only a matter of time before they take notice, and take steps. He was somewhat comforted by the fact that someone had bothered to warn him, rather than simply firing up some popcorn and enjoying the fireworks.

You are a killer, Lerrick. He frowns as the smoking man's words interrupt his mental retracing of the poem and the warning he was given. He halts, still invisible and unheard for the moment, though the edges of the tenuous spell are beginning to fray, and he begins working his way someplace he can let it fall without causing undue problems. Bathrooms never have cameras....

The smoking man's words trouble you, the dragon observes, its form barely discernible within a cloud of golden mist, just a pair of points where the glow seems more solid and somewhat brighter -- its eyes, fixed on him.

"Not so much the words," Lerrick admits, "as the tone. I mean, technically, he is correct. I kill. That makes me a killer. But that isn't the core of me, that isn't what I'm all about, you know? I mean, I don't do this because I want to kill things. I do this because these things I hunt are deadly dangerous. Because they mean destruction whether they intend it or not. I do it because left-handed magic is an addictive abuse of a dangerous power."

And yet.... the dragon prompts.

"And yet I wonder if I'm really any different," Lerrick replies, as if dragging the words out by force, and he hunkers into himself, shoving his hands in his pockets and finding a spot to lean. "I've picked a class of people to annihilate. Oh, I can make all sorts of excuses and justifications -- but in the end, that's what it is. I try not to lie to myself, Dragon. It's not healthy."

The Dragon is silent, the cloud slowly revolving, and then coalescing into its usual preferred shape, the sinuous serpentine figure ceaselessly negotiating coils and loops and twists in the air. You have a fury in you, Lerrick, it notes clinically. You have always felt it. Like all fires, until it is given direction and purpose, it is merely destructive. But I saw this fire in you, and I understood, it burns clean. It drives you to act, but not to overstep. To punish, but not to torture. To kill, but not to slaughter. That is why I chose you. You are not immune to corruption -- no thing is -- but by your nature, I believe you to be more resistant than most. I showed you the Abyss, and rather than terror, you reacted with anger. That is why I chose you. Because your response was not flight, but fury.

Lerrick stares at the dragon for a moment, and it looks back at him calmly, its body twining and coiling while its head remains perfectly still, at a level with his own. It's a rather disorienting effect. "You're telling me," he says slowly, "that you picked me because when faced with the end of all creation, I got pissed off?" he asks, not a little incredulity staining his tone.

The dragon considers this a moment, then nods. More or less, yes.

Pushing away from the wall, Lerrick shakes his head and begins again on his path back to Susan's room. "You're crazy," he tells the Dragon bluntly. "I mean, aside from your reasons being totally insane, that doesn't really address my concern at all."

The difference, the dragon informs him in the patient tones one uses with a particularly dull child, is that you consider it something to be concerned about. You ask these questions. You recognize these similarities. You see your dark reflection, and do not shrink from it. You recognize that all light casts shadows, and you do not immediately assume you are the light. You have a portion of wisdom, young mage. I would tell you not to worry so much, but in a way that worry protects you.

"Thanks," Lerrick mutters sourly.

I exist to advise and guide, the spirit says loftily, floating along behind Lerrick.
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