In Pursuit Of


emily_icon.gif squeaks_icon.gif

Scene Title In Pursuit Of
Synopsis Emily and Squeaks bear witness to the accquistion of a familiar.
Date February 9, 2019

Ruins of Queens

Somewhere on the Venn diagram between needing to do something on your own and that being safe, that being dangerous; needing to bring someone with you so you're not alone, and that being safe or dangerous; and not wanting someone to come along, and that being for the best or not… Somewhere in that overlapping mess lies the why behind Squeaks joining Emily at the border of the Safe Zone's Elmhurst neighborhood.

Crossing the pothole-riddled road to the chain-link fence separating designated city from designated ruin, it takes the older teen little time at all to find the spot of the fence that was snipped and able to be slipped under. The untreated metal exposed where it was clipped has rusted over in the months since she's last slipped under, which she notes with a frown as she pulls it back. "Careful," she warns the younger.

Emily has to take a moment once they're through to reacquaint herself with the ruinous landscape, completed with a test touch to the small of her back and the gun that rests there, just in case.

"I think it's this way." The words exhaled in a breath, Emily leans forward to start leading them in the direction of a particular set of buildings.

It’s all very simple. The ruins aren’t a place to go alone and there was no way to argue against Squeaks’ decision that she was going too. She didn’t let Joe go into them by himself and she refused to let Emily go alone too.

Scuttling through the opening is easy enough, even though she hesitates on the side of the Safe Zone before letting herself go to the other. She let her mom know she’d be with Emily for the day, and promised a million times over that her schoolwork wouldn’t be affected. But still she worries for all of two seconds, then slinks into the ruins without finding snags or tripping. Straightening again, she looks all around, taking in the broken things until Emily decides on a direction to go.

The noontime sunlight is deceptively warm, but it at least makes it easy for Emily to watch where she steps, minding the shadows in the husks of other buildings they pass. Ones that had gone passed over her first visit out here — too small, too covered in debris, no semblance of a roof, missing a fourth wall…

The door is missing from the building she stops in front of, the ground-floor windows long-since blown out. She pauses in the entry, glancing side and down in those few seconds, studying the wall directly beside her. She listens for any telltale signs of human movement in the space beyond, down the hall in what remains of a large room with a portion of its ceiling caved in. To her, from here, there's no signs of anyone having been here ever. A bit of a relief, given how frigid the last few weeks have been.

"Stay behind," Emily tells Squeaks. It's spoken too passively to really be a warning. Her hand slides under the bottom of her coat, freeing the hidden pistol from underneath the beltline of her jeans. When it's brought before her, the safety is switched off and she heads down the hall toward that room with the weapon gripped in front of her. She's always been the kind to be overly suspicious.

Once at the doorway, she cranes her head to slowly look both ways inside the room.

Waves of gray keep rolling in

Come what may we'll keep on rising

When the world comes crashing in

What would two young girls who traverse the ruins hope to find? The stories of ghosts and monsters long proven false by Squeaks surviving Deep Below and surrounding areas. Squeaks also knows that ghosts and monsters being not real outside of the Safe Zone is a "half" truth. As the girls investigate the building that Emily has chosen to start they find nothing in the room save for a family of rats that scurry away at the noise of human intruders in their home.

The wind kicks up outside and dead leaves and paper swirl in the air, there's the sound of hooves outside and something like distress comes from.. is that a horse? A storm must be beginning to brew outside because the sound of approaching lightning cracking can be heard further down the street and for Squeaks who is just behind Emily, she notices a flash of crimson in the corners of her eye.

Come what may we'll keep surviving

The frantic shrieks of some kind of bird fill the air and the flapping of wings follows soon after. Something is happening, and it's not happening inside of this building.

“What are you looking for?” The younger teen’s question is quiet, but her voice kind of travels anyway. It would, in a strange place like this where everything is broken and empty and perfect for carrying sounds. She picks her way carefully after Emily, shoes crunching on cracked things, but except for the question — it should be expected now that they are actually where they were going — she’s quiet.

The sounds of hooves has her looking that way first. But seeing nothing right away she decides it’s probably some trick. Maybe some rocks fell or something. The flash of deep red makes her scuttle close to the older girl, nearly crowding into her space, while at the same time trying to find the source of the strange light.

“There’s aliens,” Squeaks whispers loudly. Because what else could cause flashes of light like that. There’s no police cars roaming, and those red lights aren’t the same red as what she saw anyway. The bird sounds make her run the opposite direction, tippy-toed steps carrying her to the door she’d followed Emily through but not through it again. She stops at the opening and searches wide eyed for the birds.

"Spent rounds from a fired gun." Emily replies in a normal voice after seeing that the coast is clear. She replaces the gun in her waistband, shivering at the cool that slips under her clothes while she does it. She walks slowly, looking for the slightest gleam from a casing. It's been months, but…

Come what may

We’ll keep surviving

Hands free, her phone is produced to let the flashlight help easier identify anything metallic. She rotates her wrist, the flick causing light to catch, not where she'd initially expected to see anything. Emily crouches, snaking the small object into her fingers and turning over her hand to look at it in her palm. Letting out a slow exhale, she turns back to Squeaks and holds the shell up. "Like this."

She's turned away to look for more of them when the younger girl startles closer, hearing something Emily hadn't been paying mind to. "Doubt it's aliens," she murmurs in a much quieter voice. Her brow twitches. "Maybe we can get a glimpse of what it is through the front hall… if it's bad, we stay here and hide. Wait for them to pass."

She certainly didn't remember the forecast calling for storms today. And the birdcalls make it obvious this isn't just a storm. Something's wrong out there.

Emily edges past Squeaks to carefully make her way to the front to get a better look out the door or windows.

Come what may

We’ll keep surviving

We'll keep surviving

As Emily peeks at the windows with Squeaks right at her side what the girls see is… well a hellish sight.

Like the clouds that ride the wind

Come what may, we'll keep on flyin'

Scars of glory on our skin

There is in fact of multitude of animals charging past the building the teens occupy. Two of which happen to be horses, one a midnight black shade and another just as dark but with spots of gray and white and a long, wild mane. Saliva drips down from the horse's snout as its hooves slam down on the cracked pavement. Just above the horses fly a mix of pigeons and birds from the wild, a formerly white dove streaks through the air; its tail a bright orange flame trailing behind it. A family of deer bound in the horses wake with frantic movements but it's what's behind these animals that seems to be the most horrific of all.

Come what may, we'll keep on fightin'

The source of the light was a large, billowing crimson cloud of light. Lightning of the same color strikes on the ground below as it moves forward creeping after the herd of mix match animals. Metal fillings twist in and flint in the ruby light. The color of blood and the cloud looks familiar to Squeaks, the thing that took away Eve. Except in this moment all Squeaks sees is a roaring nimbus of energy surging forward hot on the heels of the horses, or the deer or was it the birds?

The dove that's on fire nosedives suddenly, the last bit of life it was clinging too snuffed out and falls right through the window that Emily is peering through with a crash and spattering of flames.

The sight of animals fleeing reminds Squeaks of one thing: the rats that ran away from the sewer flush. That was pretty scary but this, with the deep red clouds and lightning, this is terrifying. This is like the video with its voices and controlling the electricity and the rats that came from everywhere to avoid the water. “We have to go,” she says in a small voice, when Emily starts peering out the window. Her eyes widen at the sight of all the animals fleeing from the red cloud that’s roiling and churning after.

With a hand, she reaches for Emily, fingers stretched as far as she can manage to hopefully catch a sleeve or the back of the older girl’s jacket. The redhead even shuffles forward a few steps until her fingertips catch on Em’s clothes. She gives a light tug, a reminder that they shouldn’t stay too long.

“Emily,” is almost a whisper — and probably not even loud enough to be heard over the crazy scariness outside — but it’s a whisper that turns into a high-pitched and terrified noise when the fire-dove smashes into the window. Squeaks crabs backward until she’s found the other wall, eyes still glued to the space outside their tumbly building. “We need to go! We need to go!”

The sight outside is so unreal Emily wonders for a moment if she's dreaming. No, she decides quickly. Something was decidedly missing, if that was the case.

The burning bird that comes sailing through the glassless window makes her reconsider how sure she is, though.

She's seen enough, but heading out into that doesn't sound like the safest of plans. Emily responds to the tug to her arm belatedly, stumbling back from the burning bird with eyes that sharpen rather than widen. "Go back," she tells the other girl firmly. "Head back, look to see if there's a door—"

Her hand is going quickly for that gun again, to point it in the direction of the building entryway even as she heads backward down the hall along with Squeaks, aiming to get out of sight as quickly as possible.

Dust is kicked up as the sky darkens around the building and the sounds of distress from the various animals fills the air like a thick, suffocating blanket of screams. A doe sprints by the open doorway in a flash followed by another and then a rumbling comes forth as the cloud passes by in the air, the blood red light shining from within it and hitting the metal filings inside in strange ways, it all could be a trick of the light the flutter and stark shifts of what's happening inside.

Red lightning cracks and sings through the broken window, popping at Emily's feet and the sides of the window leaving angry scorch marks and smoke floating up into the air. Another bird, a raven falls to the ground flapping wings lit with orange flame, the smell of burnt feathers begins to circulate. Another bird squawking to it's death right after but this one lands on the roof with a loud thud above Emily and Squeaks' head.

The world grows quiet as the dust stills swirls but the animals and cloud continue past the building, the girls were safe. A face of a raccoon can be seen peering into the doorway of the ruined building and staring at the girls with a bored expression before it moves on. Outside and just beyond the guiding the cracking crimson energy and cries of the horses continue as it seems that the cloud is giving chase.

Finding a way out isn’t something that has to be said twice. Squeaks is already sliding along the wall when Emily directs her to head for the door, but it isn’t the way they’d come in now. She’s going the other way, the way the older girl had been heading before all the noise and red lightning and angry cloud.

Turning, once it’s agreed on that getting out is the new plan, the younger teen runs. She doesn’t run quite so blindly as fear probably wants her to. She’s more cautious than that. Her head swivels left then right then left again, and after several steps she throws sound out even though she’s the only one that can hear it. She uses the echoes that come back to draw her a map that she follows, and abruptly turns down a hallway with only a hand held back to catch Emily.

"Shit," Emily is startled backward as the lightning pops at her feet, her eyes finally widening. Red was not a natural color for that. Not at all. The curse is not said nearly as loud as she might have wanted, unnerved and trying to not attract the attention of the retreating cloud. It's taken her some time, but she gets around to wondering if that was the thing that Joe had seen earlier this month. The stench of the burning feathers and flesh keeps her from lingering on that thought.

She follows Squeaks back through the halls, eyes up. The room they head into has an emergency exit that's gone long without use. Emily's first shove doesn't have it yield, the door not properly fitting in its frame any longer. Oh, come on. she curses to herself, looking up around the frame. It was just a tight fit … she hopes.

Emily takes a step back only to kick the door as hard as possible. It screeches and starts to give, and swings outward with an extended scream of metal on the second kick. Stumbling back, she ushers Squeaks forward with a quiet, rapidly uttered "Go, go, go," like the door's shriek hadn't already given them away. She sprints out the side entrance and out beside the building, warily eyeing the cloud and the animals it chases as she hesitates on which way might be the best to take off toward.

Escaping the building leaves them back in open space but the area around them seems locked in some twisted acid trip gone wrong with fire, twitching bird carcasses on the ground and the like. The stink of burning, birds and death are thick mixing with the smoke from the flames.

As for the cloud…

The horse with the wild mane of salt and pepper color has gained its attention more than its companion who wastes no time and sprinting off to the side of the way the sounds of its retreat pale in comparison to the howl that emits from the blood red cloud of metal filings and lightning. A shudder as it roars forward and descends upon the horse, the animal letting out a shrill noise and buckling under invisible weight. Something happens in that moment, another shudder ripples through the cloud and it shrinks and collects itself gathering into a shape that first seems human and then womanly.

The red lightning flies away from the shape in every direction sizzling and snapping leaving a pale, naked form smoking on the back of the now bucking horse.

A mad cackle fills the air replacing the previous crackle of red lightning and pulse of power billowing about. The woman's face obscured by the raven mess of hair that flies as she clings onto the horse for dear life and while she may not be made entirely of that red light now, it bounces off her in red lightning sparks that dance along the curve of her body. "Whoaaaa Nelly!" The woman refuses to let go and as the horse continues to race down the street, the wind kicks up and that curtain of hair falls away to reveal a familiar face that matches that familiar rasp, the biggest difference is the way her crimson eyes catch the fading sunlight.


Squeaks crashes through the door behind Emily, clinging close to the older girl as the barrier is busted through and the way opens up into someplace much more open than before. Her eyes wide, hands cover her nose and mouth to both keep her startled sounds from escaping and stop the smell of death and burning. She turns a tight circle and her feet shuffle as she twists around. Those eyes, huge with fear, try to find someplace to go, someplace that isn’t in the middle of a storm that seems intent on hunting things down.

When she comes around again is when she sees the could disappearing — reforming — into a shape. A shape like the ink-lady, only this one isn’t made of ink and doesn’t seem to be searching for help. The younger girl takes advantage of the attention not being on her and Emily, though, and grabs the blonde’s sleeve while sidling backward, the way they’d come from.

Once the cloud snaps into shape, the full process Emily is enraptured by, her sluggishly slow steps come to a stop. She still smells the singe, is still aware of the inherent danger, but she's still stuck in place.

"Squeaks…" she murmurs, her tone assured as much as awed as she tries to get the other girl's attention.

Emily heard that laugh, one that honest to god still gets under her skin. She knows that sound.

"Are you fucking kidding me?"

She's neither seen before nor wanted to see Eve Mas of all people without any clothes on, but there she was. Wrangling a horse, after appearing out of thin air from within a cloud of death.

"What the fuck is going on…" It becomes clear she's talking to herself more than anything else at this point, stepping forward toward the wild sight.

"Hey," she calls out.

"Hey!" Louder now, arms spread out by her side as the horse charges perpendicular to her path. "What the fuck." A shouted question as much as an interjection, Emily's brow arched high.

At the distance they'd been at, she hasn't seen the unnatural glow of Eve's eyes to be afraid of them yet, more angry and alarmed at the moment — regardless of how wise a reaction that might be. It's not like she's blind to the equally-dangerous crackles of lightning, after all.

Calling out to Eve at first seems to do nothing, the horse moving too fast and Emily's voice being drowned out by the high winds in Eve's ears. The sensation one Eve finds herself thankful for, it was eerie being unable to feel in that way when her body wasn't like this. A shiver runs up her spine and she bends her head back in an exhale of ecstasy mixed with the unbearable pulsing pain through her being.

Come what may

We’ll keep surviving

We'll keep surviving

Another few feet before Eve buries her face in the charging beasts neck with a fond expression on her face, the horse shaking its head roughly as a spark of lightning pops it in the stout. "Calma dolce mia," soothingly She caresses the animal and draws herself up to full height as the horse slows down and paces back and forth before coming to a halt with hooves kicking up more dust. "Mio caro dolce destriero," The woman whispers as she snorts and cracks with laughter and ruby lighting and it's there with the fading sunlight at her back that she's seen more clearly, eyes closed as she throws her arms up into the air and sings a note into the air sustaining the note as if funneling all of her into that single chord. The tension in the air can be felt ready to snap and break at the slightly mis movement.

Something pulls Eve's attention or maybe she just wanted to open her eyes but they flare this time, the bright crimson color shining and giving her the look of a woman cloaked in shadow with glowing eyes, a hungry devil. Lightning wreaths around her wrists and she lets out another sound but it's closer to surprise than the mad howling of a woman who thought she was alone. There were no more whispers to guide her gaze but in this moment it falls upon Squeaks and Emily.

They flicker in recognition but Eve is too far gone in this moment to see them as clear as she should, too caught up in her pain and the brutal roller coaster that was her missing what she was and reveling in what she had become. A ghost of a smile and a twitch of her finger before the horse turns on its own accord and begins to shuffle away. She continues forward and doesn't look back but just before Eve and her friend round the corner in the distance she looks over her shoulder and dips her head, her mouth now plastered with that devilish grin before she's gone.

Waves of gray keep rolling in

Come what may we'll keep surviving

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