Blood Demanded It


eve_icon.gif jim_icon.gif

Scene Title Blood Demanded It
Synopsis Eve passes the torch.
Date February 2, 2019

The ruins of a New York suburb.

There are many reasons one might decide to venture out into the ruins of the suburbs of New York City. Maybe some are better reasons than others, but whatever the case, Jim has found himself here today. He’s currently situated among some rubble that was probably a relatively nice apartment before, though it’s hard to tell at this point, of course. He isn’t looking for anything in particular; his is a personal mission. Perhaps just to find a little peace and quiet — even nowadays, New York is New York. Even if it isn’t the New York it once was.

As Jim looks to the sky and the rubble to gain peace and insight, the sound of something takes his interest and draws it like a bug to shining bright light. Out of the corner of his eye a flash of red, the sound of crackling and then nothing. The late afternoon sky beginning to turn violet and orange, some heavy clouds hang above but a peek of sunshine from the clouds that nest around it.

Again a flash and a pop, a family of raccoons can be seen rushing away in the corner of Jim's eye. Something shrieks in the air, an animal.. a monkey? It's unclear.

Jim’s awareness at the moment is in a heightened state — not supernaturally heightened, of course, but that’s why he’s out here, right? To get clarity? So when he sees that flash, hears that sound, his head turns that way almost instantly. He squints, a slight frown touching his face as he peers in that direction.

“What…” Then the second one comes, and his head tips just a little bit to one side. Maybe it’s not a great idea to go in that direction, because he has no clue what it is, but he does start that way slowly…carefully. “Hello?”

The only answer is another flash of crimson light, lightning crackling and the light is now clearly visible to Jim. In the next building over from the rubble that he was gaining clarity in a few floors up from a ruined floor with a wall blown open red lightning pops just over the edge. A cat yowls in the area somewhere and two more join it, soon a chorus of yowls accompanied by the barks of wild dogs. Though Jim is not using any of his sixth senses, the animals in the area can feel something amiss.

If Jim goes to investigate is up to him. Uncertainty lies ahead that much he can tell.

Jim hesitates. Well, of course he does. Investigating isn’t necessarily his strong suit, and his ability isn’t exactly…well, offensive. However, that hesitation is brief. He does start toward the source of the light then; slowly, carefully, but he does start.

The care becomes even more apparent when he’s actually inside the building where the light had come from. Or at least, where it seemed like it was coming from. He’s going to feel pretty silly if it’s all just a figment of his imagination — and for him, that’s a lot more likely than for some other people.

He looks around as he picks his way slowly through the ruins to find a relatively secure path, attempting to discern a way up that won’t result in his death.

While he isn't a great investigator Jim does find a pathway up a stairway, a few steps broken but not too hard to go up if someone wanted. The ruined building holds rubble and lost items left over from the War. A child's dirty stuffed elephant lays in the corner of the hall but that's not what was sparking red lightning though curiously there's a faint handprint scorched into the fabric.

He sees it again.

As he turns the corner, a flash of red and what he comes upon is most curious indeed.

There in a room with the door blown off the hinges, smoke curling off the edges of the surface as if something on fire had passed by it sits a cloud of crimson energy and lightning in the air, contracting and spasming at times. The light coming off of the thing illuminates the room in deep crimson. Metal filings can be seen inside the mass. Lightning explodes periodically around it but none strikeout at the seer in the room. The winter wind curls into the place but is mostly beaten back by the heat source in the middle of the room. If it's sentient it doesn't show it as Jim enters the space, it just floats.

Jim's eyes linger on the elephant, but eventually he turns to continue, and then he sees that flash again, so he knows he's on the right track. He moves on, carefully testing out each step to make sure it'll hold him.

When he gets to that room, well…it's quite a sight. He stumbles back a bit in surprise and has to catch himself on the door frame to make sure he doesn't fall. His eyes widen as he takes in what's happening in there — not that he can immediately figure it out.

He stares for several seconds, unmoving, before he says quietly, “Hello.” Maybe it's not sentient, but it pays to be polite in general.

A fizz of static is the only answer to Jim's greeting and the cloud hangs there as Jim exudes politeness and manners to it but still it just sits afloat.

Something causes a stir though and the cloud jerks upwards an inch a spasm rocking through it as lightning cracks at the top of the mass, in the corner of the room unnoticed before the flayed carcass of a rabbit can be seen pink muscle beneath muscle visible though it looks like its halfway cooked and faint specks of blood are sprinkled on the ground around it, the light from the nimbus is what illuminates it for Jim's eyes. The red energy mass backing away leaving scorch marks and smoke in its wake. Another shudder runs through it and it suddenly hops and zips across the ruined room and behind a pile of rubble.

Shadows are cast on the wall behind it and an unholy shriek can be heard arriving as if a record player was spun backwards. It's reminiscent of some even more off kilter Frankenstein tale as Jim witnessed in the shadows that the cloud of energy shifts and takes shape, the shape of a woman. Eventually the light subsides and the lightning along with it. Silence save for the occasional crackle echos around Jim before a worse that's harsh and rough from not being used comes from behind the rubble.

"Hark," said with strained effort from the tone of that woman's voice, "Who goes there?"

The whole scene is enough to rattle even the most stoic of observers, and while Jim is generally pretty peaceful, he’s not immune to reacting when he sees a flayed rabbit in the corner that was clearly done by whatever it is that red cloud is. He lets out a gasp as the cloud starts moving, and that shriek makes him flinch back again, though not enough to stumble like last time.

The voice, though…it may be harsh, but he recognizes it. “Eve?” he says as he looks back up at the now woman-shaped cloud, and he takes a half-step forward, even though that might be ill-advised at this point. “What happened?!”

"Do not." says the voice of Eve, and her head peeks around from the rubble, pale bare shoulders visible. Crimson glowing eyes flare as she takes Jim in and a small smile crosses her unpainted lips, "Not safe getting close to this ticking time bomb…three three three." Eve seems to be taken over by the the need to say the word three until she stops and looks again towards Jim as if just hearing his question. There weren't any echoes or whispers from her gift anymore, just Eve and her delusions. Just Eve and her dangerous new gift.

"Strange things are afoot in the Circle-K." Another weary smile and Eve shifts her weight as a trail of crimson lightning sparks down her arm. "There was a price to be paid, for the weary Travelers to arrive home. Our Mother and Father in Blood demanded it…" Eve stops as she thinks back to that day. To literally being pulled apart piece by piece. "I paid it." And so did a lot of others. Is what she says simply and it would seem that the "former" seer does carry some bitterness to losing her foresight, "No longer a Sister Seer, no more Rivers. No more nightmares of unimaginable things but I've still seen. I still know my Sisters.. and my Brothers." She assures Jim, she remembers still.

"I lost one," Eve says slowly as drags a finger up and down the pile of rubble she hides behind. A violent shudder rips through the pale woman but she doesn't explode. Yet. "Gained two." A wide manic grin on her face as she holds up two fingers. "I'm sorry I can no longer see with you. Sacrifice was the only way."

That warning makes Jim stop in his tracks, and become very still. He doesn’t try to get her to become more coherent or pick through what she’s saying by asking more questions, just listens, filing away what she’s said whether he totally understands it or not.

A little frown starts on his face when she goes on, though — prices to be paid are usually never good, and this one is clearly no exception, judging from Eve’s current state. When she says that she’s no longer a seer, though, that frown shifts a little bit, real sadness coming into his expression now, as well as a sense of loss.

However, he nods once, accepting what she’s said. “That’s a pretty big sacrifice,” he says after a moment. “What does that mean, travelers?”

Eve's eyes water and she looks away, momentarily shamed by the look of sadness in Jim's eyes, she's honestly been trying not to think about the lack of.. knowing what's to come.. the voices that she despised but had come to understand and live with for two decades, there's a part of Eve that's shut off and she'll never get to it again. This shakes Eve to the core and she backs up a step, dangerously close to the edge of the room now. "It was." Is because she's still paying that price now. "I don't know… who I am.. not clearly. Three. Three." The woman mutters to herself.

"Travelers. You didn't see, not yet." Commenting softly to herself, "From different Rivers, other strings, what have you. Alternates of us. Not all duplicates, they crossed over. They are friends, not food." Raising a finger as she speaks rapidly, she can feel when it comes the explosion of herself but only just before so for now her speech accelerates before time runs out. "Mother and Father followed them and then.. I can't remember.." the tall woman twitches as that part of her past goes dark.

"Things have shifted. Are shifting, stay on your tippy toes Jimbo." Eve's rasp cuts across the winds that begin to kick up. "Look deeper. You have to. Take the plunge, I can't guide them anymore." Was she really in the first place? Some would say yes. There were seers who meddled in many and all and there were seers who watched from the distance, Eve seemed to be imploring Jim to be the former.

Jim doesn’t say anything else about it, though he does take one step closer toward her, and holds out a hand. Not to touch her, not really. But just to be there with her, and offer his presence as some sort of solace, because despite the horrors he sees sometimes, to not have that would leave him with a hole inside him. No longer him. She’ll have to learn to be a new her.

When she goes on, though, the slight confusion that was still there starts to lift, even though there are more questions that the new knowledge brings. He doesn’t ask them yet, just lets her finish. Her entreaty, though, gets a little shake of his head — not exactly saying no, it’s involuntary, but that’s his first reaction.

“I’m afraid to,” he admits after a moment. So again, not no, though not yes, either. “I don’t know how to do that and not lose myself.”

"Don't be afraid." Raising on her hand to mirror his gesture though the distance stays between them. Eve's eyes take in her friend and she nods at him encouragingly, "Sometimes we have to lost a bit of ourselves. To help the others." It would seem that she would elaborate but she stops and grips the rubble tightly as if she's about to blow away. "Ugh.. hah..haha. Time's up Jimbo. Do me a favor will ya?" Eve winces as her eyes grow brighter. "Keep this between us, for now. Adam Monroe is lurking."

A shudder runs through the woman and she backs up another step as her hands begins to crackle and spark crimson, destabilizing yet again. It always hurt. "If you don't know where to start, just look within! We- You have the access, call to the Echoes from what's to come. They will answer!" Clenching her teeth together she lets out a laugh that echoes around them. "I may not be able to see but I can protect the ones that do. I promise if you need me Jimbo I'll be there. Just call me chicky cluck cluck—"

Eve falls over the edge of the building and cackles as she falls out of sight.

Not a moment later an explosion can be heard and a violent red light fills the air. Eve rises slowly back into the view bobbing in the space above Jim's head, throbbing with power. The metal fillings glint and flash in the light. Lightning strikes the building in a few random spots as she lingers for a moment, seemingly looking down upon the man before she shudders and rips away into the soon to be nightsky.

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