Dark Carnival IC

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Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby SkullsandSlippers on Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:07 pm

Laine's face was soft as she watched Atticus move. She could hear the bottle as she remained laying in the bed. Between how long he was out and the need to take something, Laine knew the ganger had really done a job of stabbing him. She had never been so brutal when she had done it. She bit her lip slightly, wondering if she should get out of bed to get the medication for him but not trusting her legs to hold her up if she tried.

Inhaling slowly Laine heard the pills as Atticus took them and the noise as the bottle was tossed back in his bag. His movements were slow but she was relieved when the tattoed body moved back to lay in the bed beside her. Laine realized that she was still worried that he was going to leave. Her eyes looked him over as Atticus propped himself up.

She traced the lines of the tattooes that covered his body with her eyes. The boat on his chest, the animals with their snarling features, her eyes marked them all. Laine drew her gaze back up to his eyes, soft green in the dim light of the tent. It was so different to see them without the anger smoldering under the surface. Her stomach flipped.

Atticus reached out and began to trace her skin. Laine's breathing was slow as his hand moved along her body. Her blood was racing as it became even clearer that Atticus wasn't going to leave and that he was going to stay with her this morning. Not just stay....

Laine felt his lips touch hers and she closed her eyes. Her hands went up and into his hair. She was glad that she had removed the leather strap from it while she was washing him. The sun kissed strands fell between her fingers as Laine formed her body against his, being careful of the wound. Laine didn't want to let him go, wanted him closer...

The uncertainty of the situation was gone now, it left when his fingers began to trace her body. For Laine, nothing existed now but this moment, the feel of his skin and the heat between their bodies. Laine was falling, not like she did in her nightmares when the ribbons slipped from her fingers but falling into Atticus' presence, to the feelings he was drawing out of her. Unlike her nightmares, Laine wasn't scared and she didn't want to wake up.

It wasn't long before Laine's shirt found its way to the floor, before soft touches became caresses of desire, before hands roamed as lips moved and bodies became entwined. Laine forgot about Atticus' wound, forgot about everything but the press of his form against hers.
---

Laine's hair was draped over his arm as she lay nestled against his chest. Her breathing had almost returned to normal although the flush of her skin had yet to fade. Her leg draped over his and one finger lazily traced the tattoo of the ship on his chest.

"Atticus, please don't let the someone from the crowd finish your act. Not here. He was...cruel. There is no reason for that. Others will do it. I will do it."
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SkullsandSlippers
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Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby Irish Wolf on Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:42 pm

"Well thats what we strive for" said Cooper, rubbing his head with a towel, as he turned from stepping out of the shower. Only half dressed, mainly just having his jeans on, with the tee shirt draped over his shoulder. Taking a few vigorous rubs to the top and back of his head, he balled the towel up and tossed it into the hamper, setting just to the side of the door, for the communal towels the circus provided for everyone, if they wanted to use them. He yanked the tee shirt over his head, it was green, with a fading logo from a zoo, one of the business he had bought up in the past twenty years and used as a base for his traveling show.

"But yes" he continued, offering a friendly smile, "Atticus will be fine, in a few more hours, although he might be up and about now. More then likely, if he is, he'll be wishing he was still out cold, I imagine it hurts, having your muscles and whatnot stitch itself back together. It takes him a while to heal up and last night was rather brutal, even for his show. Normally he gets someone to shove a knife into his heart and thats a small wound, if deadly. Having his stomach opened up? Well that will take longer to heal or at least thats my guess."

"I wouldn't worry though" said the ringmaster, as his voice turned from answer a question to musing upon one,"I doubt anything less then his being burned or soaked in acid, would leave any lasting damage to our tattooed man or even make him stay dead for that matter."
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Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby NorthernSoul on Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:12 pm

Atticus somehow managed to shrug despite the fact that Laine's head was resting on his shoulder and continued to idly wrap a lock of her hair around his index finger.

"OK," he said, though he probably would have agreed to just about anything just then, whilst the faint sheen of sweat on his skin hadn't quite evaporated and Laine was tracing the tattoos across his chest with a delicate hand. "You can do it next time, if you want. I've made my point anyway..."

Oddly, he agreed with her. Had he not had the addictive prospect of her to come back to after every show, he might have subjected himself to a repeat of last night for the duration they spent on the planet. To further his point and prove to himself that he could bear it. But he did have her now and she was asking him so... He wouldn't. Funny how easy it had suddenly become.

"This place reminds me of the planet I grew up on," he said, tugging her a little closer to him and looking up at the murky skylight to where the vague shapes of the towering hives could be made out through the frosted glass. "But at least you could see the sky there..." he added darkly. In truth, he didn't mind the dimness that seemed to hang over their days here, regardless of how strongly the sun shone high above the city. It seemed to cloak and protect whatever he and Laine were beginning to forge here. Not that the rest of the circus wouldn't know within minutes of the two of them stepping out of Laine's quarters together (actually, gossip had probably spread like a flame through petrol ever since Laine had taken his hand backstage the previous night). But that didn't bother him; he just wasn't ready to have the bright light of day blazed upon it just yet.

The skylight could only hold his attention for so long before it was dragged back to the immediacy of Laine herself. Gently nudging her away from his shoulder, he propped himself up on his forearms above her and pressed his lips, with slow luxury, to the base of her neck. Seeing her up on the ribbons during her act was nothing, he had realised. Nothing compared to capturing the swell of her hip in his hands, feeling the muscles tense beneath the soft skin of her stomach or even pushing back the tangle of her hair from his face.

"You're beautiful, you know..." he said, voice muffled by her skin. "Shame about your taste in men."




"Ah, I see..." said Hanna, following Cooper's lead by dropping the towel she'd been using to dry her hair into the basket. "Well, actually I don't at all. How did he do it? Why won't anything short of a good dowsing in acid do a jot to the man in the long term? He is human, isn't he? I mean, I've heard of some of the species on Endymion 4 having the ability to regenerate just about anything- I met one in fact, he'd lost his leg clean off the previous year's derby and there it was, good as new but I digress- but he certainly doesn't look like that..."

"Or do performers never give up their secrets?" she said with a grin, taking a heated brush from her bag and beginning to style her hair into its usual victory roll.

"Did you ever have an act?" she added. She tried hard to imagine what it might have been if he had indeed had one. Some kind of animal tamer, perhaps. In the style of the old Earth school with a whip and flaming hoops. Or maybe an escapologist, picking locks whilst hanging upside down underwater...
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NorthernSoul
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Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby SkullsandSlippers on Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:44 pm

Laine felt the movement under her as he shrugged away her concern. She was ready to chide him for dismissing her when he agreed to let her wield the blade the next time. Laine sighed deeply in relief and smiled a little, pressing her lips to his chest. A slight frown formed as she wondered what he point he thought that he was making. For now, he agreed not to let the crowd here do it and that was all she could ask.

A strong arm pulled her closer and Laine readily yielded to it. Her own arm circled his torso now, holding her body against him. As Atticus talked about how this place, even with its muted sun reminded him of home, Laine pictured a young Atticus running with abandon under the sun’s light. She closed her eyes and smiling, wondered if his hair was the same colour as a boy or if his un-tattooed skin tanned.

A movement brought her out of her thoughts. Laine found Atticus above her slightly, loose hair tickling her as lips played along the skin of her neck. Her head tilted, allowing him more of her neck to kiss and her hand traced the line of his spine from his neck to his shoulders and back again.

A soft throaty chuckle bubbled through parted lips. Her taste in men...if he only truly realized how men only ever looked at her for her beauty, her body and how she’d never really chosen any of them, maybe save Cooper. There was no denying that Atticus was the first man she had willingly put herself out there for. Laine had expressed her want to be near him, even after years of pushing aside every other man who had complimented her or lavished her with gifts.

Those meant nothing. He on the other hand had treated her like a person. Cooper had as well but she had known from the beginning where she stood with him.

Laine’s head went back, her breathing increasing slightly as her skin reacted to his touch. “My taste in men....I see nothing wrong with the man in my bed. In fact, by the sole reason that I wish him to be here I think I have wonderful taste. ”

Her hands lifted his face so that she could look at him, eyelids heavy over blue eyes. She pulled his lips to hers. “I want you here, with me. Call it a shame, call it whatever you like...you won't be rid of me now.”

A nagging voice told her they should eat breakfast, she’d be late to help Kayne with his act and that she had things to attend to with the acrobats but looking into Atticus’ eyes and holding him close, the voice faded. There would be time....later...
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Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby Irish Wolf on Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:45 pm

"Atticus is human" said Cooper, although he looked like had to take a second to be sure, "Or at least he claims to be and I managed to get our doctor to confirm that much about him. I've seen him die a few dozen different ways, mostly by a blade but I doubt that a projectile or energy weapon would do much better. Never poisoned him, cause it doesn't give a good show but I get the feeling that wouldn't work either. I think, if you wanted to kill him and have him stay dead, you'd have to destroy the body or at least his head. Throwing him out an airlock might work.

"Well" chuckled the ringmaster, after pausing for a second, "This is a morbid conversation first time in the morning. I'm not sure how he does it but then again, I wouldn't go around giving up information like that anyways. As you said Ms. Freeman, performers never give up their secrets."

He smiled broadly, in a manner, which if it could have been coupled with the gleam of natural eyes, would have given away the last statement as false. Of course it was, after all, thats how those younger learned the trade, be it skills passed down to a child as part of a family's secret methods to a set of tricks or a teacher finding a successor to their act but those were givens. It was also an untruth because, at the very least, he had gotten dozens of people to teach him skills over the past two decades. Mostly small things, like how to juggle half a dozen knives or pick locks but he had learned the basics to at least half of the acts in the circus. He was decent at it but nothing worthy of stepping into the ring for.

"As for me" Cooper mused, pulling a small comb from his pocket and running it through his unwaxed mustache, it's imperial curl drooping around the corners of his mouth, "I lack such great talents as those I have gathered around me, so I humbly announce them."
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Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby varxint on Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:24 pm

As had become his habit, Javier found himself wandering the lower tiers. This time though he walked with a purpose and ignored the questioning stares and the muttered threats. People were getting to recognize this strange nobleman who wandered. Either recognize him, or the two, thin, four foot long pieces of ornate steel he carried on his hips. He grinned wryly, tonight was not about picking a fight. Tonight he had something else to see. The noble houses had been on and on about this carnival they wanted to bring in. Heaven forbid they actually come to see the show. Javier was quite curious though. The night show seemed to be more to his tastes and so he waited and instead of his normal wandering, he now had a place to be.

He pushed his way through the crowd. He could sense the heightened tension. The taste of chaos barely being held in check. He reveled in it and in the looks of anger and annoyance that quickly changed to confusion when they recognized a nobleman. He sensed their greed as well, but one glance at his weapons and at the barely contained dare in his eyes the commoners parted and left him in peace. For now.

He found a place close to the barrier and settled in to watch the show. As the ribbon acrobat began her show Javier smiled. "A fine way to start the show. Beauty to grab attention," he thought. He enjoyed and respected the litheness and considered if sword work in ribbons would mesh or just be stupidly dangerous.

Javier watched the dancers and sex acts with interest. He smiled and enjoyed the swell of the crowd and the fight to maintain his position. A few audience members found out how sharp his blades were when they got too rough, but Javier did nothing more than ensure the sutures would sting for a time. He was too busy enjoying the show to desire to pick a real fight. He did not want to draw the attention of the roustabouts before the show ended.

As the performers left the ring and the single, tattooed, man limped out to quiet the crowd, Javier's eyes widened. Real steel, fine weapons. Daggers worthy of a skilled hand. Javier had grown used to the crude steel or ultra light mono filament blades common among the lower tiers. To see real steel being used was impressive. As the man began his show Javier watched intently how the blade was handled. When the lout was thrown into the ring and took the blade, Javier winced. Seeing such a fine weapon being used by a common piece of dirt embarrassed him. The embarrassment soon turned to disgust and offense as the brute fumbled the weapon and cut deeply and crudely into the tattooed man. When the killing blow came Javier almost jumped the barrier to hold the brute accountable for the sheer lack of skill he used. Javier was ashamed for the weapon and truly felt the tattooed man deserved a better show than he suffered through. Javier made note of the lout who so insulted the process. "Another time you will be made to pay for your disrespect of the blade," Javier silently promised.

Javier spun around and pushed roughly through the audience. His right hand on the hilt of his main sword, already half drawn. As he passed through, some digits dropped to the ground as Javier lost any and all forgiveness of any unwelcome contact.

****

The next morning Javier dressed in his finest. He strung his bandoleers of daggers across his chest and strapped on each fine piece of steel. Every weapon he owned was hand forged and custom made for him. The benefits of a noble upbringing. The curse of being one of the youngest is that these weapons were his namesake. Sure, his parents took care of his every need, now. When they died however, he was out of the inheritance. He would have nothing other than his weapons. After the show last night though, he now had an idea of how he could do his name proud with them.

But first, he must look the part. Then, he must find that tattooed man and apologize for being the victim of such an uncouth, incapable hand on his weapon. As Javier gathered the rest of his belongings, he put the finishing touches on his outfit. He definitely looked the part of a noble and he smiled at himself in the mirror. Now, to show the rabble what a real swordsman can do.

As he approached the gate of the circus for the second time he stood out like a sore thumb. He in his fine clothes and groomed appearance. Much of the crowd stared but parted in a degree of fear and respect. Javier would normally have revelled in the looks but he was focused. When he got to the gate he sought out one of the apparent leaders of the roustabouts. He found a large, ebony man keeping his eyes on the gang members.

"You there, yes. I am looking for the ringmaster of this show. As well, I must see the dead man. Off you go now, that's a good man."
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Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby Irish Wolf on Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:33 pm

John had seen a strange sights since he left home in the company of a one Cooper Smith. Things from fantastic beasts, to strange cultures, to odd aliens and wildly talented people but he was going too this to the list of strangest. Out of the crowd of dirty, ragged rabble and cocky hive gangers, came, well he could only describe the man as a peacock, to name the colorful Old Earth bird. His clothing might as well been a flashing neon sign, with a pair of loudspeakers, screamed money. Then there was the pair of belt across his chest, covered with knives and daggers, with a sword hanging near each hip.

The ebony hand have to wave his hand a little, to halt two of his crew from stepping out of the gate, in order stop the man from entering the circus. Normally they would prevent anyone, so heavily and visibly armed, from getting close, as a general policy but their boss sensed something about him. Something more then money. Besides, there was always the small chance that the noble houses who hired them, might be sending an agent to check up on them. Not that this person looked like a house agent, they would have blended in with the crowd and a noble on official business would have a retinue of armed guards. It was something else this young man was here for.

John arched an eyebrow, the only hair on his head, as the blade covered man, picked him out of the "guards" on the gate. The eyebrow arched a little higher, as the man demanded that he run off and fetch both the ringmaster and the dead man. He almost considered letting his boys toss him out, for a pleasant fraction of a second but even if the noble was here on his own, he could still cause trouble for the boss if slighted. Besides, it would be a good show, when the tattooed grump was awoken early for this peacock.

"Of course" said the chief roustabout, in a rich, smooth voice, rarely heard, with a slight bob of his clean shaven head. Turning around, he trotted off into the circus. While he didn't know right were the boss was, they had been doing this for two decades, it would be easy to check the four or so places Cooper might be. The first stop was his tent, which proved to be empty. The mess tent was also lacking in the presence of the circus owner but the cooks were able tell him that the boss hadn't been in yet. That left the showers.

"Cooper" said John, opening the door to the shower house and spotting the owner, apparently chatting with the newest member of the circus troupe, "Visitor, front gates."

"Who is it" asked Cooper, looking over to see his right hand man, roll his broad shoulders a little in his version of a shrug.

"They important then?"

"Think so" replied John, "Noble and wants to see Atticus too."

'Alright" said Cooper, "I'll get changed and you go see if our tattooed friend is on his feet or if he's still dead. I'll meet you back at the gate."

"My apologies Ms. Freeman" the ringmaster continued, as the chief roustabout disappear, "But business calls, it appears. I'll see you backstage before the show."

Bowing grandly, as was his fashion, Cooper left the shower house, at a brisk walk. Stopping at his tent, he slipped into his custom; black trousers, white shirt, gold vest and red coat. It wouldn't do to meet someone who might be important in jeans and an old tee shirt, besides he had too look the part for someone inspecting his troupe. Quickly waxing his mustache into it's normal curl and grabbing his top hat, he strolled towards the gate. Weaving through the crowd with ease, his augmented eyes picked out the man John must have been talking about and he fought an amused smile. It would take a cocky, entitled man to be able to walk through the hive unmolested, dressed like that.

"Good morning" called the ringmaster, walking towards the swordsman, extending a hand to shake.

In the mean time, John had walked straight from the shower house, to the only place Atticus could be, Laine's tent. He didn't hurry, as he didn't really expect for the tattooed man to be awake yet (much less for him to be engaged in other sorts of activity). Stopping at the door to the plain, uniformed and unadorned hut, he rapped large knuckles against the plysteel. Not overly hard, just enough for someone awake inside to hear and let them know someone was coming inside.

Without waiting for an acknowledgment of the knocking or permission to enter, the roustabout wrapped his hand around the knob and opened the door. In the past eight years, he had never needed permission to enter Laine's tent. It was just the way things had worked out, either because he needed to see Cooper (and the man had spend many a night with the acrobat) or because he was checking up on her after a hard day or some other little reason.

Not looking around first, John stepped inside ad shut the door beside him, not that anyone in the circus would try to peek. There were plenty of open shows around the place. As the latch clicked back in place, he looked towards the two beds and arched an eyebrow in mild surprise. The tattooed man was awake and the pair of them appeared to be enjoying each other's company. After a second, a broad smile flashed brightly white teeth in an ebony face.

"Sorry Laine" said the roustabout, "Atticus, your wanted at the front gate."
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Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby NorthernSoul on Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:13 pm

Atticus looked over as someone knocked at the door to Laine's quarters and scowled when they actually entered without bothering to wait for an answer. That of course meant it could only be one person: John, to whom the concept of privacy didn't even seem to occur. Not that that was a particular problem here, when everything (or at least, superficially everything) was on show for all to see. All the same, Atticus wished one of them had remembered to lock the door.

"Get the fuck out, John," he growled, though his heart wasn't really behind the viciousness he tried to inject into his voice. He was still far too high for that.

Once the roustabout had left, though not before flashing one of his brightly spontaneous grins at the both of them, Atticus reluctantly sat up. Clearly it was important, or else John wouldn't have bothered to come and see if he was awake. But he could certainly think of things that were more important at that particular moment...

"I won't be long," he said, looking down at her. Despite the fact that one of her legs was still entwined with his own and that he could still feel her warmth on his skin, he was struck by the uncertainty of the previous night- could he really be sure it had all happened? "I promise..."

Awkwardly shifting his bad leg to the side of the bed, he reached for the bag containing his spare set of clothes and pushed himself up to put them on. The last item to go on was his shirt and once it had been pulled on over his head, he bent down to kiss Laine briefly but with energy, holding onto the bed frame for support. He very nearly locked the door and went back to bed there and then but his wound gave a small protest of pain with the movement and somehow that snapped him out of it.

With that, he took his cane from where it leant against the wall and limped out, taking care to shut the door behind him. Laine might make a living doing what she did but somehow that made protecting her from view when she was like that, when she'd been like that, even more important.

Outside, he raised a straight brow at John and gestured irritably for him to lead the way. "What's so important?" he said, darkly.
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Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby varxint on Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:53 pm

Javier relaxed as the ebony man moved off. He noticed the other guards now and nodded politely at them. Careful not to imply a threat, he adjusted the swords to comfortably hang after the walk. He looked around the grounds more as he waited. Obviously he was receiving a lot of stares, and rightfully so, he thought. His gaze wandered and settled on a food vendor. Javier stared at a bowl of apples. He considered, "A demonstration might actually be required. Then, I need to put together a show. Can't just randomly engage audience members. They would not offer nearly enough of a spectacle. Let's see. Those girls. Yes, the strippers and the swords. Quite an interesting possibility."

Javier never considered that he would not be offered a spot in the show. Being denied anything was foreign to him. He was used to getting his way and didn't so much demand it as accept it as a natural course.

He looked up as the ringmaster approached. Javier respected his looking the part. No use trying to be something other than you are. It makes dealing with people much easier.

Javier removed his leather gloves and grasped the extended hand firmly, "Good morning sir. A pleasure to meet you and to extend an offer of my talents. As fine a show as it is, I assure you, I offer something currently lacking. Flash, pizzazz, speed, precision, all in one package. I will bring fame and fortune to your exhibition."
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Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby Irish Wolf on Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:24 am

Well, it was always good to start the morning off with a laugh.

Or at least Cooper had always believed so and he almost did, in the face of this unnamed noble. So his show lacked flash, pizzazz, speed, precision, fame and fortune, did it? And yet, his name was known on dozens of worlds, his circus brought system wide, public holidays, whenever they dropped out of jumpspace and his bank accounts had more credits, then some small planetary nations. However, he kept his face and mouth under control with a smooth, unseeable ease from decades of dealing with arrogant....people.

"You must be a man" said the ringmaster, as the handshake ended and he relaxed a little, "Of extraordinary skill, if your talents could bring such to my humble show. Pray tell, your name sir and how might your talents improve my circus?"

It was very plain that the man thought that his weapons were the key to his talents but he wanted to hear the man explain how they could be put to work entertaining folks. So Cooper made a show of looking the noble over, moving his head, as if he could only stare straight forwards and wanted to study the knife covered belts across his chest, from shoulder to hanging swords. Now the augmentations, built into his old eye sockets, didn't work that way, he could look in any direction he wanted to, without anyone being able to figure out just where he was glancing. But he found that people felt better, when they knew where he was at least suppose to be looking.

"Local big shot" said John, his shoulders setting just so to express annoyance, "Wants the deadman and the boss."

The roustabout glanced over his broad shoulder, as he set a slow pace for his tree-trunk like legs, making sure that Atticus could limp along near him. His large, dark eyes held an odd mixture of pleased satisfaction and amusement, to see that Laine had finally taken that last step towards accepting love and with the grumpy tattooed man. Much like the circus's owner, it's chief of roustabouts had encouraged the acrobat, after his own fashion, to open herself to the feelings of others. However, after a more then half a dozen years, he had been fairly convinced that she was going to try to get Cooper into a more "proper" relationship.

He was almost glad she didn't. Cooper wasn't the kind of man to put limits on himself and while he did care for Laine, he wouldn't be happy if he had to reduce his other relationships. And if Cooper wasn't happy, Laine wouldn't be happy, not in a committed relationship. Besides, she deserved a partner who could give everything about them, to her and vice versa.
Last edited by Irish Wolf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby SkullsandSlippers on Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:03 pm

Laine heard the knock, sort of...her face was buried in Atticus' neck and her lips working their way long the skin there. Her mind registered the sound but it didn't truly matter, who would come looking for her right now anyway?

John's voice broke through the thoughts of what Atticus' hands were doing along her body. Atticus growled at John to get out, Laine felt the vibration of his voice against her face as she kept it pressed against him. It was missing some of the biting edge that Atticus normally had and Laine hoped that had to do with the way their bodies were currently twined together. She frowned wondering why Atticus was needed at this hour. John had seen how badly Atticus was hurt. She couldn't think of anything that would require the recovering man so early in the morning but if John was willing to face the wrath of both herself and her companion than it had to be important.

Blue eyes looked up meeting his eyes as he looked down at her. The eyes were soft and smiling as Atticus promised to come back. The bed moved as he shifted his weight and began to dress. Laine rolled to her side, watching the way he moved and touching lightly where she could without impeding his progress.

The energetic but short kiss was return with enthusiasm, her hand reaching for his face, silently wishing for him to stay in the bed with her. Laine watched Atticus pick up his cane and leave her tent.

Lying back on the bed, Laine couldn't stop the smile that was on her lips. Everything about this morning, even being interrupted was worth it. It was new yet it felt right to have woken up with Atticus next to her. Her skin still carried the feel of his hands and lips.

Laine's mind was full of the things she was supposed to do. Kayne would be waiting and there were the other acrobats to check over, not to mention the basic safety and costume checks. Atticus had said he would be back and Laine couldn't quite bring herself to leave the warmth of their shared space.

She'd wait a little longer. Perhaps whatever he was called away for would not take too long. Laine curled up in the bed, savouring the warmth their combined bodies had made. She closed her eyes, the morning replaying in her head. The smile remained.
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Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby CortezHorse on Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:25 am

Entek hid behind a nearby tent, watching the newcomer speak with Cooper and Atticus. There were so many new people here lately but the girl from last night had been nice enough, even played with him. As long as this male was willing to play games too then he wouldn't mind another addition to their herd.

Sticking his bum in the air and waggling his tail, he watched as the group slowly left the tent. He thought he'd heard Laine's voice from inside the tent and if they were gone then she would be lonely. With that thought he happily trotted toward the tent, poking his head in slowly and seeing her still curled up on the bed. Oh, she's asleep so I must be quiet, Strella says it's rude to wake someone when they're sleeping. Slinking on his belly toward the bed, he ever so slowly nudged his head under the covers. In his mind he was the sneakiest thing around and he could easily climb into bed for a snuggle or two. A creak of the bed as he began crawling up inch by inch, feeling excited as if he were playing a game. Ha! Wouldn't she be so surprised to see him when she woke up!
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Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby varxint on Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:41 pm

Javier released Cooper's hand and nodded. He pulled his gloves back on carefully, "Correct. The finest swordsman on this planet. Though, unfortunately, that sounds like less than it should since this planet's competition typically uses the inferior mono filament shit, barely worthy of being called a sword. I use only the finest steel. It was quite the feat to track sufficient quality materials. However, I could stand here and talk your ear off about my blades but that is not the show I propose for your exhibition. Instead, let me demonstrate what a real swordsman can do. Then, we can talk about how you want my show and when you will schedule it. Though I am partial to the night time act and I have ideas about how best to demonstrate my talents in ways that will... titillate your audience."

Javier grinned and walked over to the food vendor with the apples on display. He grabbed two and cocked his head at the vending woman. "Ah, my lady, can I ask you to participate in my demonstration. It will be quick and quite exciting." The vendor looked unsure but Javier fairly pulled her along and so she had little choice.

Javier held out one of the apples, "Now, my lady, would you be so kind as to take a bite of this apple, but hold it in your mouth for but a few minutes."

As John and Atticus arrived Javier smiled, "Oh fortuitous." He indicated John, "You seem to have a loose thread, just off your shoulder there. Yes, that's the one. Would you mind stepping just a little closer and holding that thread out, tightly? Thank you."

John looked to Cooper, who shrugged with amusement. John shook his head and did as Javier asked.

Javier grinned and nodded, "Alright. My lady, the apple now? And..."

Javier took a quick glance at the vendor to ensure where she was and that she did as he asked. He positioned himself so that John was to his right, with Atticus standing between Cooper and John. The vending woman was on his left. With his left hand Javier tossed the second apple into the air. As he did so his right hand went to the blade on his left hip. There was the sound of steel being drawn and the flash of artificial light on an obviously sharpened blade. As the blade came free of the scabbard Javier swung it toward John's shoulder. Once it was clear of his left arm, his left hand went to the blade on his right hip. Again the sound of steel and flash of light. The tossed apple reached it's peak and began falling to the ground. The blade in Javier's right hand completed it's arc, slicing the thread neatly, so close to John's shoulder as to show no evidence of ever being there. The left blade shot toward the vending women. She only had time for her eyes to go wide and a small squeak come from her throat before the blade plunged into the apple. With a quick flick, Javier removed the apple from the woman's mouth, leaving her with a mouthful and a racing heart. At the bottom of the arc of the right blade Javier flicked the tip toward Atticus. He lunged and pierced the tossed apple just as it got to knee level, about a foot from Atticus. Javier returned to a normal stance and crossed both blades in front of him. He took a bite of the tossed apple and winked.

Javier swallowed the apple, "So, I'm thinking, dancing girls, balloons, and a swordsman who flawlessly bursts the balloons to reveal the assets of the dancers. I should go on before the spectacle of death. Speaking of which."

He turned to Atticus and removed the apples from his blades, "I felt I must apologize sir. There is no excuse for the scum who did not know how to handle a blade last night. On behalf of every skilled blades man, please accept my heartfelt apologies that you had to experience that." Javier gracefully saluted Atticus with his blades. "Please, if you must call upon another to handle the blade, consider a fine swordsman. I shall be available to your call, if you choose." He bowed his head slightly.

Javier pulled a cloth from a pocket and began to carefully wipe the blades clean.
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varxint
Member for 2 years


Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby NorthernSoul on Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:57 pm

Almost as soon as Atticus had glimpsed the man who Cooper was speaking to with a large amount of bemusement dancing about his cyberkinetic eyes, he had decided he didn't like him. Maybe it was something about Atticus' own early upbringing surrounded by absolute poverty, maybe it was because he didn't like being dragged out of bed to speak to flamboyantly-dressed strangers on a day like today when there was actually someone waiting for him back in that same bed. Whatever the reason, he let a sceptical scowl settle on his features as the man- whoever he was- launched into something like a performance routine.

The man was blindingly fast, Atticus had to admit, and he watched as both blades pierced the apple just before it landed at his feet with a begrudging interest. Any sign of that was wiped off his features by the man's presumptive description of his future act and he eyed the man's slight bow with derision, making no move to mirror it himself.

"Save your breath; you have nothing to do with it," he snapped, leaning on his cane. "If an audience member takes a knife, they can do what they like; that's the point." Turning to Cooper, he continued. "Was there anything else? Or did I just get dragged out of bed-" He shot John a look. "-for this?"

Had he been in the mood, he might have been even more aggressive. But the prospect of Laine waiting for him back in her quarters made him impatient to leave and although he resented this... ridiculous man for necessitating John's interruption, he'd save his wrath. But surely Cooper couldn't possibly be thinking about taking on this idiot?
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NorthernSoul
Member for 7 years


Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby Irish Wolf on Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:20 pm

Cooper had began to wonder, if there was something about this planet that made people think he was just going to automatically accept them into his show. First it was Ms. Freeman (although in truth she had state she was joining his show from another world) and now it was this puffed up peacock of a nobleman. Of course he was the finest on the planet, where he only faced those from the lower branches of his house, who's parents thought they could increase their own standing, if their children lost to him. And where he would have never been allowed to face someone from a different house, least such a match provoke a trade war among the noble families. Any wretch he fought down in the hives, would be just as likely to stab themselves in the foot with a sword, as make a strike at him.

So it was with a grain of salt and a bemused smile hidden under an interested look, that the ringmaster watched the noble acquire some apples, to make a demonstration. He glanced over without turning his head, as John and Atticus arrived, already feeling, like he was going to be regretting allowing the roustabout to fetch the tattooed man. The slight, to the point of almost not being there, up curve to the corners of the ebony man's lips, were enough to tell him that their walking dead man, had something much better to be doing at the moment. He had to keep from smiling himself, there were definitely much better things to be doing, when waking up with Laine in your bed or you in hers.

Then something that could only be described as interesting happened. In the space of a few heart beats, the so called master swordsman flew into a blur of motion. It would have taken someone with cybernetic eyes to follow every twist and swipe of the blade, as the noble tossed an apple into the air, neatly sliced a loose thread from John's shirt, plucked most of an apple from the vendors mouth and caught the apple he had tossed out of the air, all with just two finely made rapiers.

Cooper's mind bubbled with ideas, as the noble said something about popping balloons off dancers and then made a speech to Atticus. The first fully formed one, was of this noble doing something more family friendly, maybe start with him telling a bad joke in the ring, then the clowns would arrive, running around him with vegetables, throwing them at him. Then the swords would come out, slicing away the veggies, into bowls that suddenly appeared, making salads and not getting so much as a loose piece of lettuce on him. The crowd would love that. If he wanted to do something with the night show later, why the hell not? Maybe if he could find some more swordsmen, he could set up some live combat, a dance of possible death, right before someone in the crowd (or maybe a chosen baldemaster), slew Atticus.

The ringmaster was pulled back into the real world at just that moment, as Atticus, well went about being Atticus. He grumped like he hadn't woken up with a beautiful, lithe woman and won't continue to do so in the foreseeable future. If he still had his natural blue eyes, he would have rolled them and sighed softly. Maybe it was going to Laine longer to improve the tattooed man's look on life. John shrugged slightly, when Atticus glanced over at him.

"Now now" said Cooper, holding a hand up a little, trying to tell his undying performer without words, he'd apologize later, while looking like he was focusing his attention on the stranger "No need to be grumpy, I don't think....You know, I didn't catch your name sir. I am Cooper Smith, our tattooed friend here is Atticus and you've already met John."
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Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby SkullsandSlippers on Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:34 am

Laine's eyes were closed and she was thankful for the dim light of this planet. It allowed her to remain in her own world as she drifted back to sleep. The bed was warm, the blankets were warm around her and everything smelt vaguely of sawdust and soap. Laine sighed, a slow deep exhale that was followed by an equally deep inhale. This was just the beginning, she was facing many mornings of waking up with him, their bodies pressed close. Not just mornings. Laine was still smiling as she began to drift off.

Her arms were wrapped around her slightly as Laine curled on her side, facing away from the door. Because of this and her slow slip into sleep again, Laine did not register the slight opening of the door to her tent. She didn't notice the creature slinking across her floor, its excitement barely contained. It wasn't until paws touched the bed, making it creak that Laine became aware of anything but the images in her dream.

Laine smiled, her eyes still closed. The bed creaked and moved, that could only mean one thing. Whatever Atticus had to attend to, whatever had pulled him from the bed it was short and he returned to her as he promised.

“Back so soon? Wonderful...” Her voice was thick, a mixture of half dozing and desire. Laine waited, remaining curled up, for the man to press his body against her back. She couldn't wait to feel his arms wrap around her.

Hot breath hit her spine. Laine froze, her eyes opening wide. Her mind raced in confusion. That was not the breath of a man, not human. It was too heavy, too warm. Laine's chest began to rise and fall steadily as she desperately tried not to panic. Slowly, she rolled to face the door and whatever was in her bed.

Admittedly, if she hadn't been scared, Laine would have recognized Entek but she wasn't exactly thinking clearly and he was a lot scarier looking this close up when you weren't expecting him than on a normal day to day basis. IF she had been thinking clearly, IF she hadn't been expecting Atticus back than she wouldn't have screamed.

Scream she did. A scream of fear. Wide eyes met the bony, fearsome face, the gaping mouth and Laine screamed. She couldn't help it. Scrambling backwards, Laine pulled the blankets around her naked body. She was staring at Entek, not quite realizing it was he and not something that was going to harm her that had crawled into her bed.

There were loud noises, a yelp and the crashing of her vanity near the corner being jostled, her things falling to the floor. A flurry of feathers were in the air as a few of her boas were stirred up in the commotion.

The tents were not soundproof. Many people stopped dead in there tracks. From the scream and the crashing, there was a chance Laine was in trouble. Two of the dancing girls clung to each other. They whispered to each other, knowing Atticus had been put in Laine's tent last night and they feared he was the cause. Others ran for Cooper's tent. Another man yelled for John, knowing the roustabout was never far. Two of the crew had been watching the show at the gate and hearing the scream watched to see if the ringmaster, John, Atticus or even the unknown man had noticed.

Unaware of the panic that was occurring outside her tent Laine sat panting at the edge of the bed (thankful there were two and not the customary one). Her hands gripped the blankets tightly to her. She looked towards the corner, the noise in the tent dying down.

There under a rain of falling purple, blue and green feathers cowered Entek. On the floor around him her makeup, brush and other items lay strewn about the floor. “Oh, oh no...no...no Entek I am so sorry!” Laine felt terrible. The creature was shaking and Laine's heart sank.

Laine crawled quickly out of bed, barely keeping a blanket around herself. Her voice was soft as she approached him. “Entek, it's okay...I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you.” He was pressing his body into the corner as much as he could and it upset her greatly to know she had scared him so much.

Laine crouched and wrapped an arm around the great bony beast as much as she possibly could, using her other hand to keep the blanket pulled up around her. She pressed her face against him. “I didn't mean to scare you.” Laine's eyes teared up. Entek was so gentle and she was sure he ended up more terrified than she had been.

Laine could hear the footsteps and dull commotion outside the walls of the tent but Entek's whimpering as she hugged him was more important. “Shh, shh...it's okay...” She did her best to calm him. “I gave you quite the scare didn't I? It's okay Entek, it's just me...just Laine.”
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SkullsandSlippers
Member for 3 years


Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby CortezHorse on Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:51 am

Laine said something as he slowly edged his way into bed with her. He wasn't quite sure what it was she had said, but it sounded happy and that's what was important. She must have been lonely, like he thought, and was happy to have his company now! Squirming in joy he pressed against her back, cocking his head at her as she rolled over and stared him in the face. Entek expected a greeting, a hug, a kiss or something similar after she looked at him but certainly not what actually occurred.

Her scream caused the large monster to immediately panic. He recognized that scream, it wasn't a happy one like small children make, it was the type of noise the audience made when he was pretending to be mean and they were afraid. His first thought was to retreat, his long legs scrambled and tangled in the covers causing Entek to fall face first into Laine's vanity. It rocked precauriously, sending items raining down on him which furthered his fear and want to run. His large claws scraped the ground for traction but he soon found himself tangled in one of the soft, feathery things Laine would wear for shows. Entek rolled his body, kicked his legs, doing anything to free himself from the mess of feathers but finally succumbed to his fear and huddled in the corner shaking.

Why did Laine scream? There was no one else in the room so it must have been him. Strella said they were family though which meant you couldn't be scared of each other. He'd done something bad, Laine was furious at him he just knew it. Curling even further in on himself, covering his face with his clawed feet he shook and whined, he waited to be punished.

A soft arm came around his neck and he flinched in reaction. Laine's soft voice calmed him a bit though, she didn't sound mad with him at all. Peeking out from between his claws, he watched Laine with a guilty look for a moment before scrambling to her. Like a horse trying to be a lap dog, he pressed against her whining. He didn't want Laine to be afraid of him, he loved her, she was the best at giving him tummy rubs. He then spoke in his garbled alien voice. "No, no Lainey. Bad, no play." What Entek was trying to say was sorry but that was a hard word for him to say and boy was it a long one to remember. He only knew it was something you said when you did a bad and he felt he had.
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CortezHorse
Member for 4 years


Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby Centraiu on Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:31 pm

The scream ripped Kayne right out of sleep. He immediately jumped to his feet in his blood stained sweater and was out the door. He knew the scream came from Laine's tent and he figured it was Atticus who was the cause. He broke into a full sprint to her tent pushing roustabouts and a gathering crowd out of his way. "I'm coming!" He yelled as he was very close to the tent. Once there he noticed the door was already partially open. Instead of pushing it open he kicked it in. Once in all he could see was falling feathers and makeup on the floor.

Until he heard the whining he would have presumed no one was in here. Once he turned to the corner he could see Laine in her blanket comforting Entek. "What happened?" He asked with a chuckle. He walked over and started to scratch under Entek's chin. "You two have gathered quite the crowd out there." He looked at them both and then at her.
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Centraiu
Member for 3 years


Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby Irish Wolf on Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:47 pm

It would seem that names wouldn't be in order, or at least not right away, as a scream suddenly ripped through the happy noises of the masses of humanity enter the circus and the sleepy bustle of the tents. Heads whipped around to stare in the direction of the sound, worry and confusion painting lean features, as sounds for the ringmaster and the head of security rang out. Roustabouts on the gate looked like they were about to leap from their posts but stopped to look at their leader and boss, muscles tensed. A quick hand wave from they giant ebony man, sent the men back to their places in the gates but didn't spot glances over their shoulders towards the tents.

Cooper's mouth had gone dry, as he half turned, looking behind him. He knew that voice, lifted in scream but never in terror. No one within his band would have it in their hearts to inspire such dread in comrade but worries filled his mind like bubbles in a frothing pot. Mainly variations on what could be going on if a single or handful of the local hive gangers had gotten through the energy barrier and into the tent area. Was it a robbery, now going horrible wrong? Was it an attempt from some male ganger who had seen Laine last night, to have his way with her? Was it an attempt to kidnap some of his people? His hand clenched at his side, as the other felt to make sure the dueling pistol was tucked into the heavily concealed holster, under his arm.

"Pardon" breathed the ringmaster, barely remembering that he had been talking to someone, concerned written across his face. Glancing over at the chief roustabout, he took off at a, well it wasn't a run, more of a canter or a trot, as he deftly wove through the crowd and slipped passed the flexible metal sheet used to separate the camp from the circus.

John, hesitated only a second before following Cooper and that was only because he took a moment to study Atticus. With his limp, the tattooed man would never be able to cover ground quickly and it was his woman screaming in terror. Maybe if he were to pick him up? While not a small man, Atticus wouldn't be much of a challenge to lift off his feet or carry across the circus, well if he was a dead weight anyways. The man might be opposed to any such offers of help, as the handicapped could be. Cooper had been, before the implants had been fitted into the useless eye sockets in the aftermath of....well Cooper wasn't Atticus but the same touchiness might still apply.

The ringmaster and chief roustabout didn't have to push through the crowd gathering in a ring around tent, close enough to watch anyone coming out but far enough away to duck for cover. A bubble just seemed to open around them, be it some the hulking presence of the dark skinned giant or the air of command from the lighter skinned man but a space opened before them and closed behind them, There was no reassurance, when they finally in front of tent, when they noticed the door hanging ajar, as if smashed opened.

A few quick stride and they were inside, Cooper leading, John filling the door behind him. The scene before them, might have been comical. Feathers drifted on the air, brushes, makeup and other things from a fallen vanity rolled slightly on the floor. There was a quivering, whimpering monster in the corner, a a man who looked like a body builder scratching the beast's chin and hidden behind his legs, a short woman hugging the monster, with only a blanket on. Silver and brown eyes scanned the room, looking for anything out of the ordinary, for this circus.

"What the hell is going on" asked Copper, crossing his arms over his chest.
Irish Wolf
Contributor
Member for 6 years


Re: Dark Carnival IC

Postby NorthernSoul on Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:56 pm

Atticus had already looked away from the exchange between Cooper and the newcomer when, as if on cue, a scream of terror cut through the air, coming from the direction of the performer's tents. And it wasn't just anyone's scream- Atticus recognised it instinctively as Laine's and unlike Cooper he didn't bother to make his excuses before setting off towards her quarters. His leg and the wound in his abdomen protested in agony but he half-limped, half-ran as fast as he could though to his frustration and relief John and Cooper soon overtook him. If he couldn't get there quickly at least someone would. He couldn't- didn't want to consider what might be the cause of the scream. On this planet... No, he didn't want to think about. If there was a man in there, god knew what he'd do to him. He'd kill him, he'd-

He felt self-loathingly useless as he arrived at the entrance to Laine's tent a few moments after the others, gritting his teeth against the pain. A few people looked at him with something close to pity (although they knew better than to let him catch them doing so and quickly attempted to wipe the expression off their faces) and a few seemed surprised to see him arrive, no doubt assuming he was in there with her (and the cause of the scream, he thought angrily). Most, however, still had their gaze fixed on the doorway through which Cooper and John had just disappeared.

Atticus hastily limped inside and the scene he was greeted with actually made him grin with relief. Feathers were still falling and room was a mess but a sheepish-looking Entek was being hugged by an unhurt blanketed Laine whilst John, Cooper and Kayne looked on. It didn't take much imagination to realise what had happened.

"You're alright?" he said to Laine, limping over to her and the alien and extending his hand to help her up. "How did he get in here? You've got half the circus outside your door, you know..."
Last edited by NorthernSoul on Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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NorthernSoul
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