Announcements: Initiative: Promoting Forum Roleplay » Universe of the Month! » Finding Universes to Join (and making yours more visible!) » Guide To Universes On RPG » Starter Locations & Prompts for Newcomers » RPG Chat — the official app » USERNAME CHANGES » Suggestions & Requests: THE MASTER THREAD »

Latest Discussions: The Ethics on owning a Housepet » I just really had to share this plot idea. » Materialism » Satire & Comedy » Platonic numbers » No complaints (a little bit of rappin) » Any multi-player roleplay videogamers here? » Needing a woman's perspective on a concept » Gluts and Gaps » Universal Basic Income » Impending Pursuit Q&A » Eudaimonia » Loot! » Natural Kinds » I have a funny idea » Life in the 21st century. » Song of the Runes » Plato’s Beard » Clues » Nihilism »

Players Wanted: Sands of Oblivion » Looking for Role Players to join an active universe » Looking for Empire of Cendalia Players » Seeking Roleplayers for The Isekai Wonderland Project » Hadean The Brave - Fresh Blood » Just a trophy of status - long term, story focus! » Kingdom come looking for roleplayers » The Last Dragon! » Roleplay Return for 1 x 1 » Players wanted for a science fiction adventure. » Players needed for Fantasy Romance reboot » One(1) male & Two(2) Female Roles OPEN <3 » Talmora: Kingdom of magic » Looking For A New Partner » Hellboy characters » 18+ Writing Partner [Fantasy, Romance, Etc.] » 18+, Multi-Para to Novella Writers please! » Looking for roleplayers » Fun tale full of angels, demons, and humans » Looking for roleplayers »

0
followers
follow

Alix Rayne

Fatespeaker

0 · 176 views · located in The Ship

a character in “Cirque du Volés”, as played by Connected

Description

Image
ImageImage
Image
Alix Rayne
Following
Fortune Teller - Cirque du Volés

“If you knew in advance the consequences of your own actions—you'd be doomed. You'd be a stone. You'd never eat or drink or laugh or get out of bed in the morning. You'd never love anyone ever again. You'd never dare.”

Dunkirk is where I was born and awakened. Bordeaux is where I'll die. I plucked my first toy from the void at twelve, learned of unspeakable truths at fourteen, and joined a traveling circus shortly after. There I'm known as La Voyantette, fate's favorite child.

Most think it a blessing to see the future. But they presume the free will to change it. Time is not so kind. What I see becomes inevitable. It looms over me like l'épée de Damoclès. But I know when the sword falls...and who will be underneath it when it does. I don't know the limits of my abilities, but neither am I keen to find out. I'm already overwhelmed by them.

I do not long for the home from which I was ejected, nor for fame nor riches. I want only a life of as much peace and meaning as I can muster. As it turns out, these are ideals shared by my fellows and serve as rare common ground.

I keep my person and stage persona separate, and thus far very few have discovered that Alix, assistant to La Voyantette, is the performer herself. It is only a matter of time before the two collide in more minds and I am made to socialize, to the detriment of us all. I could hope otherwise, but...

I already know how the story ends.
Image

So begins...

Alix Rayne's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Etoile Character Portrait: Rien Character Portrait: Alix Rayne
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image


  It seemed a foregone conclusion that the night on which a member of the family had been stolen away would prove to be a night which would also steal away the sleep of dear Tybalt. Yet, by some miracle, the man had managed to find enough peace to rest. That miracle's name was Etoile, who lay curled up at the foot of his bed like a kitten, ever reassuring, ever kind.

  It was not nearly enough to ward away the mental cataclysm which rose him from slumber in the middle of the night. He rolled out of bed, looking this way and that, grasping at his head to make sense of what was going on. He had never felt something like this before.

  Etoile, disturbed by his sudden awakening, pried open one of her heavy eyes to gaze up to her Papa.

  
"Qu'est-il arrivé?" she asked verbally, unafraid of accidental fallout from her abilities, since they were alone. She knew her Papa could sense things in people, but never had they been affected this strongly.

  Tybalt panted for breath, then gulped, looking this way and that, trying to locate the source. His eyes bored holes in the wall.


  "Did you find another?" Etoile asked.

  "Non, ma cherie, I believe they have found us."

  Just then, there was a knock at their door. Tybalt approached it with hesitant steps, his hands trembling. What awaited him on the other side? Sensing his fear, Etoile slipped clumsily from the blankets to scurry up to him and take his shaking hand. Taking a breath, he at last reached out and slid open the door.

  He saw, gazing back at him, a small, eerily thin boy in raggedy suspenders, his miniscule hands roughened from toiling on factory floors. Their noses were assaulted by the stench of coal, oil, steam, and street scraps.

  Before Tybalt could react, the boy spoke a name: one that Tybalt was sure he had shared with no soul aboard this ship. A name that predated the circus entirely.

  Flinching, Tybalt grabbed the boy's arm and yanked him inside, shutting the door behind him. He stared sternly into the child's eyes. And then the boy spoke again.


  "I will keep your secrets if you will keep mine."

  "Who told you that name?" Tybalt demanded.

  "I hold the annals of the future," the strange boy replied. "In them it is no secret."

  Tybalt's eye twitched with unease.

  "And what is your aim in coming here?"

  The boy held a blank, empty gaze at the much taller man before him. There was a pause before he replied.

  "You presume I had a choice. It was already decided for me. Tomorrow I will join your circus as the fortune teller La Voyantette, whether or not you and I desire it so."

  Tybalt stumbled back, confused. He looked to Etoile for her take on the matter. One thing stuck out in her mind.

  «La Voyantette is a girl's name, isn't it?» she signed.

  As though the strange child understood what Etoile had signed, the voice replied,
"As I said, I will keep your secrets, and you will keep mine. It is better for the circus to believe that Alix Rayne is only a cabin boy, and La Voyantette is the true star. You assign me to Etoile's room, as we are both ladies."

  "Why?" Tybalt hesitated to inquire.

  "It would be wiser to let time reveal that."

  Etoile, protective of her Papa, glared at the mysterious stranger. Boy? Girl? It did not matter. Only one man was immune to her words. With a single utterance she would send this bizarre child away from them.

  Tybalt thought deeply of what he should do. He set his hand atop Etoile's head, gently brushing through her hair. It was too late in the evening to be asking questions about fate.


  "I will have Maria confirm what you have said, and then we will see what is to be done. Her room is--"

  But the girl had already opened the door, walking in the right direction.

  "I know," she answered.

-----


  Rien answered the knock at the door with a tone of annoyance. As she slid it open, she declared, "Memphis, if you've come this late for something strange, I will--oh." She took note of the small creature before her, a ghostly pale child with no guardian in sight. Her voice softened, and she asked, "Hello there. Do you need some help?"

  This stray looked not far from dead - if not in body, then in soul, reflected in her weary eyes. Alix answered, "Tybalt requests Maria's assistance."

  "Oh. Alright, I will wake her, then." Though something was clearly off about the child, it was too deep in the night for her to concern herself. Maria was always better at this sort of thing, anyhow. And she would love to hear that Tybalt requested for her. So she went back in the room, to Maria's bedside, and gently shook her.

  Groaning, Maria turned over and asked, "Pourquoi me secoues-tu?"

  With an audible grin in her voice, Rien answered, "Monsieur LeGrande demande votre aide."

  At that, Maria tore off her sleeping mask and donned her robe, scrambling to ready herself. Quickly, she lit a lantern, fixed her hair in the mirror, and in her haste, nearly bowled over the child standing in the doorway.

  "Ah--" she vocalized, before exchanging glances with Rien, who nodded.

  "I hear Monsieur Tybalt is calling for me," she said finally to Alix. "I should have known it was to take in another cute lost kitten. Come along, we will go to him together." At that, she stretched out her hand for Alix to take.

  It was not an easy thing to accept such a gesture, however. An uncomfortably long time passed before the child at last placed a worn hand in Maria's. There was no grip to it; the whole of this stray's frame felt limp and on the brink of collapse. Maria could sense things, too, and she could tell that there was pain in this child. A warmth flowed from her hand in an attempt to soothe it.

  
"My name is Maria. What should I call you?" she asked, escorting her back to Tybalt's quarters.

  "Alix," she answered simply. That she was far from well was obvious to the naked eye, but what had transpired to steal the light from her eyes was as yet unclear.

  "What a lovely name," she commented, bringing the lantern closer to get a better look. Unkempt hair, gaunt skin, long lashes, and an expression with not a speck of joy. She was less a child than a phantom.

  "And such beautiful lashes," she added, but it washed off of her like water off a duck's back. Alix reacted to very little; Maria had seen unconscious patients more responsive than her.

  At last they reached Tybalt's door, which slid open by Etoile's little hands. Maria signed her greetings to Etoile, and they entered, Etoile shutting the door behind them.

  Immediately discerning Tybalt's distress from his pacing, Maria signed to Tybalt,
«Monsieur? Do you know this child? What is going on?»

  «No, but she knows me,» he signed in return.

  It would have been easy to assume things based on that response, but Etoile signed frantically to Maria to explain more clearly. When things had settled down, Tybalt elaborated.


  "She claims I will assign her to room with Etoile after you confirm a delicate matter. And she does not want others to know she is a lady; for what purpose, I do not know. But she...possesses knowledge I cannot explain. It is unreasonable of me to impose upon you at this late hour, chère Maria, but this was an urgent matter."

  His words were sweet and beautiful as honeysuckle, but they were drawn out by an anxiety that Maria had rarely seen in him. She resolved to help settle this matter. But surely Tybalt could just say no? She did not understand why it was being spoken of as an inevitability. Nevertheless, she resolved to help.

  "Ah, so the petite Monsieur is a Mademoiselle," she remarked. "Détourne le regard s'il te plait," she asked Tybalt, then said to Alix, "Pardon me for a moment."

  As Maria confirmed the matter, Etoile could not help but notice the girl's complete lack of response. Alix held as still and lifeless as a doll. Malnourished and unmoving, for the briefest of moments it was like looking into the past. In an instant, Etoile saw herself reflected back - the girl she had been before she met Tybalt. But this girl had no one.

  "She is telling the truth," Maria assured Tybalt. "But why would you assign her to Etoile's room?

  "I have not. But according to Alix, it has...already occurred? But it has yet to transpire... I do not understand it myself."

  Etoile leapt forth, taking Alix's hands in both of hers. Feeling the roughness of her palms, she raised them up and displayed her own, which still bore scars from ill treatment in childhood. She hoped it conveyed her message: We are the same.

  Then, Etoile turned back to Tybalt and Maria, signing with determination,
«She can stay with me.»

  Tybalt scratched at his head, unsure of what had just happened. But rarely could he change Etoile's mind when she was so intensely convinced of something. Though he did not see what she saw, he did trust her judgement.

  "Very well. It seems La Voyantette's assessment was correct. She and Etoile will be roommates. Do you have any other questions before I leave Alix in your care, Maria? I imagine Etoile and I have some matters to discuss."

  "Many, but in my years of following you, I have learned that some questions are better left unasked." Maria gestured for Alix to follow her, saying, "Come along, my nouveau petit ami, we will go find you something warm to eat."

  With that, Maria ushered Alix out of the room.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Etoile Character Portrait: Alix Rayne
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image

Image





The room had gone quiet. With the absence of Maria and their new friend, Alix; things began to calm. Etoile could sense her Papa’s unease, however, and went to her Papa's side. They were alone once more, the door having carefully been shut to make certain that a certain someone’s voice could not escape these walls. "Papa, something is bugging you?" Etoile asked him quietly, playing with the fingers on one of his hands. "You do not like Alix, do you?"

Tybalt brought Etoile close with one massive hand and brushed through her hair with the other, staring at the wall ahead of him. "It's not that I dislike her, but...she brings me great disquiet. You were afraid of her, too, and then you were not. What changed?"

"You were talking about secrets, you still have a lot of them, Papa. I want to know too." Etoile pouted, but her expression eased when he stroked her hair.

Etoile could not explain what it was she felt about Alix, "A feeling... a sense, like yours?" The child attempted to put it into words. "When she made that face, it reminded me of me... before you found me." Etoile admitted, "Sad... without any hope."

Tybalt pursed his lips in thought. "You already know the important ones," he assured her. "That I was different before the circus, or even before you, je ne suis pas un LeGrand ni de la Fontaine, and that my real family is here. What else matters?"

Tybalt looked down into Etoile’s eyes and frowned. "There is something different about that child," he cautioned. "The day I met you, you had tears. This girl...she has nothing. I cannot see within her. All I know is that her power is terrible, and that speaks to pain just as intense."

"Are you sure you will be safe?"

Etoile sighed, relenting. She yawned, blinking tiredly and laid her head in her Papa’s lap, blinking tiredly.

"Sometimes, you have no tears left, they just run until you have none inside of you anymore." She explained quietly, recalling the feeling. It was a distinct emptiness that she remembered, bleary from the drugged food that she had been force fed, hardly able to recall what it was like to feel at all until she had escaped that wretched place.

"I think it will be okay. If I tell her to stop, she will stop. There is only one who doesn't have to listen to me, but chooses too. Rappelles toi?" Etoile giggled, echoing his own words.

Tybalt continued running his hand through her hair, which had grown much longer with time. Gone was the petrified short-shorn orphan he first met, but he may have unwittingly taken on another very much like her. "Oui, rappelles, Etoile," he joked back, before scooping her up into his arms to carry her back to her room. "Un père s'inquiète, c'est tout ce que."



If Maria didn't have her eyes on Alix, it would have been easy to conclude that she wasn't even there. Her footsteps made hardly a sound as they walked to the kitchen, the child making less than a peep in the darkened hallway.

There were several scavengers passing through the kitchen when Maria peeked in through the doorway. None of the evening snack specters paid them much mind, but they knew Maria well enough to give her a nod of acknowledgment before each of them started shipping off to their respective rooms, food in hand.

Maria waved to the stragglers, releasing Alix's hand once they were gone. "What sorts of foods do you like Alix?" Having been a nurse maid before she met Tybalt, Maria was quite handy at taking care of children.

Before that, she had cared for her three younger siblings. Alix, however, was nothing like any child she had ever seen. Quiet, sullen, and far too thin.

Alix walked as far as one of the counters, then crossed her arms over it and slumped forward tiredly. It was clear that her lack of nourishment translated into a lack of energy. "Whatever stays down," she answered without much excitement. Lively conversation was undoubtedly going to be a weak point for Alix, but it was better than her remaining constantly silent. "What would you like me to make?"

"You sit," Maria pulled out a chair for her from the small table in the corner. "I will prepare something easy for your stomach," a light vegetable soup, Maria decided.

Soup was food for the soul, at least, that was what Maria believed. Slowly, methodically, the woman began to chop vegetables to make a broth, humming while she worked, since it was evident that Alix was far too tired for conversation.

Steam rose from the large broth pot on the stove. The kitchen began to fill with the aroma of simmering squash and zucchini. When it was ready, Maria ladled the soup into a ceramic bowl and set it down in front of Alix, hoping that she would enjoy it.

She made herself busy, cleaning up a bit before taking a seat across from the child, hoping that she had eaten.

Alix looked to Maria and stared in silence for a moment, then complied. Was this what confusion looked like for her? As she sat in the chair, she repeated the motion, forming a pillow with her arms and collapsing on top of it.

When Maria set the bowl in front of her, it looked as if Alix might have fallen asleep. However, the girl rose too smoothly and too quickly for that to be the case. "Merci," she said softly, before beginning to eat, sipping directly from the bowl, then stopping and clenching at her belly as the hot liquid spilled into her empty stomach.

"Ah, donc tu parles français ?" Maria laughed, watching her with interest. Her smile slowly faded when she watched Alix reach down to hold her stomach with pain.

Worry creased her brow, Maria rose, instinct kicking in that something was amiss. "Where does it hurt?" She asked, her voice gentle. Could it be that her body was not used to food from being malnourished for so long? Or was it something more serious?

Alix shook her head to both questions. "Stomach...it will pass," she said, but if it was a more serious condition, it was unlikely that Alix knew. Instead, she waited a few moments and began to drink from the bowl again, her body tensing from the pain but otherwise refusing to acknowledge it.

Maria's concern did not go away, but if Alix insisted it was normal, she would not bother her about it. "If it gets worse, please let me know." Maria insisted instead, knowing that it could take a bit for Alix to trust her with what was wrong. Watching someone writhe in pain and not helping them was against her very nature. For now, however, she would have to sit still unless Alix insisted.

"Did you work, Alix?" Maria asked, trying to make polite conversation.

This time, she nodded. "Made fasteners until I passed out. Then they threw me out. Then I came here. Wasn't even paid."

Alix could not even muster the strength to sound bitter about it. Instead, she returned to guzzling down the soup. Was this today? Yesterday? How recently? Where? It was not uncommon for such injustices to go unpunished as people at large put their hope in a future where no children would have to work, but their focus on the future came at the ignorance of the problems of the present.

"The world will often take advantage of the small. Here at least, you will find that you will not be asked to do things you never want to and will be able to rest and heal. I hope that soon, you can call this place a home, just like so many of us."

Maria had been here since the beginning. She had seen the kind of world Tybalt envisioned: where the starving all had a place at the table to come and eat. Where those who were running from their past could safely rest their weary legs.

Finishing her meal, Alix rose with all the liveliness and animation of a steam machine and walked to the sink, where she began rinsing and washing the bowl clean. "Merci," the child repeated softly. Evidently, though she did not know French, she could at least exchange pleasantries, albeit with monotonous delivery.

Maria was no mind-reader, but she could sense turmoil inside of Alix's tired head. The tomboy put away her bowl, then turned to Maria with an empty gaze, exhausted and directionless. What had been next on their list?

Maria rose, clapping her hands together. "How about a bath?" She suggested, "Come, I will show you where to go." She reached to take Alix's hand again. "We can find you some clothes afterwards, oui?" She smiled, always enjoying the opportunity to rifle through Genya's costume closet.

It was like holding onto a mannequin, one that walked and talked. Alix did not answer, but walked along with her through the corridors and hallways. They ascended to another deck, where the baths were located. Though a basic water closet was available to each of the quarters, the baths and showers were located on another deck across from the wardrobes and costuming rooms, making this area casually referred to as the beauty section.

"A bath after a meal is always the best," Maria smiled, running the water for Alix. She added scented soap and bubbles, preparing it the same way she would for Etoile in the hopes that it could bring a smile to Alix's face. "I will wait out here, so please, take your time." Maria would find Alix something she could wear in the meanwhile.

Alix stepped inside with a nod, waiting for Maria to leave before sliding the door closed and locking it.

She did not take her time, but neither did she rush. Were Maria in range, she would hear no splashing, no coos of delight, none of the playful sounds of youth. She was just...soaking.

When she emerged, Alix smelled much better, a hint of apricot cutting through the stench of her work clothes, which she had reworn without much thought.

Maria busily spent the time of the bath rummaging through the clothing. Alix preferred to disguise herself as a boy for reasons Maria did not fully understand, but she would not disrespect Alix's decision. Genya would be miffed that someone had gone through the clean piles of laundry, but ultimately, Maria did not think anyone would miss the things she had taken.

"I have found you clean clothes!" Maria sang, frowning when she saw that Alix had put her dirty clothes back on already. "Come, we will get you changed." Maria sent Alix back inside the bathroom with a clean pair of trousers and a button down shirt. They were more than likely too large, but they were clean and smelled like laundry soap.

Without much reaction other than a pause, Alix took the clothing and disappeared back behind the door. She disrobed and put on the new clothing. Though she swam in the shirt, the pants were at least the right size, and the suspenders fit her well. Moreover, she now smelled of both apricot and clean clothes.

The door slid open, revealing, not an orphan, but a heartbreaker, poised to devastate the hearts of women across France with a single gaze. It was small consolation for the girl, who preferred the image in the mirror, but at least Alix did not look like a street rat anymore.

Maria capped her hands together, glad that the clothing somewhat fit. "Magnifique," She complimented, realizing that she could not take Alix to her new room, not yet at least.

"Alix, I think it would be wise to pick out your costume now, otherwise people might question what business a boy has going in and out of a girl's room." Maria parted the heavy, purple curtain to reveal the closet where the costumes were kept.

Some had tags on them, indicating that they were designated for a certain performer. Others had yet to be claimed, all of them carefully crafted by the delicate hands of their in-house seamstress. "Does anything catch your eye?" Maria was most eager to supply help in picking something out.

Alix wandered in, her steps light as a mouse, drifting this way and that through the massive closet like a balloon in the wind. For some time, nothing seemed to catch her attention, until her eyes fell upon a large, wide-brimmed sun hat, which she swept up and placed upon her head. She tilted it to hide her face, then timidly peeked out from beneath it.

It was a start.

"Those are wonderful!" Maria admired Alix’s choice. It was the start of the perfect disguise. Maria assisted in going through the racks of clothing, pulling out a simple, but pretty dress and a necklace. "How about these?" She asked, holding up the items for Alix to see.

"I should think it will go well with your hair."

Alix followed Maria and looked upon the dress at length. If she disliked it, surely wouldn't she say something? Instead, she began unbuttoning her shirt, giving Maria her answer.

"Allow me to help you," Maria put the dress on over Alix's head, hoping this meant that she liked it. She zipped the dress up in the back and clasped the necklace around her neck, checking to make sure it wasn't too tight.

"Beautiful!" Maria smiled, "Come, look at yourself. Just like a princess." Maria stood behind Alix in the mirror on the wall, showing the child how pretty she was. "Do you like it?"

Redressed - pun intended - Alix replaced her sun hat on her head, then gazed upon the girl in the mirror. She looked to Maria once. Finally, she looked to the floor. "Just as described," she answered.

But that was not a 'no'!

It was probably the best answer Maria was going to get from her. "I will take you to your room now, oui?" She reached to take Alix's hand again. "You can rest and sleep there, no one will bother you." Except maybe her roommate, who might pester her to play.

Maria knocked lightly on the door, but there was no answer. She propped it open quietly, finding Etoile asleep in her bed in a pile of stuffed toys.

"Here, this one," Maria guided Alix quietly to the bed that had been freshly made for her, a stuffed bear having been set upon it. "Have a good rest. Please come find me if you need anything."

Alix stepped inside, removing her hat and necklace and setting them upon the dresser. She retrieved what looked like a small chocolate bar from the pockets of her male clothing, then folded up the suspenders and shirt and set them aside.

Hoping that Etoile was sleeping, she let out a quiet sigh, her brows twitching with pain she refused to let spill out. Then, still wearing the dress, she crawled into bed. It wasn't until she heard the thump of the stuffed animal falling to the floor that she even realized it was there; her presence of mind had been all but nullified.

She stared at it for a long while, then looked across the room to Etoile's bed.

Beneath a canopy that glittered with stars lay a child who looked more doll than human. What with her long blonde hair that fanned around her head and the elegant lashes that graced her porcelain-like features.

It was probably difficult for Alix to tell the difference between Etoile and the pile of stuffed toys she slept with.

In truth, Etoile had woken the moment Maria opened the door, but she did not want to disturb her new roommate. Etoile would need to be careful, there could be no more singing or humming in her room, not unless the child was absolutely sure she was alone.

Only after she was satisfied that Etoile was asleep did she lean forward and grab the teddy bear, dragging it beneath the blankets so as to be out of view. The chocolate bar she stuffed beneath her pillow, before resting her head upon it and letting her eyes drift to a close.