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The Emperor: Joshua White

"Kings are no more than the filth they rule. Emperors are gods."

0 · 666 views · located in Alternate Universe

a character in “Desert Sonata”, as played by Royalburden

Description

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Joshua White
CEO of White Family Food and Transport

Introduction:
The Emperor was created to dominate. She who shaped the demons themselves fashioned him a conqueror of minds, hearts, and bodies alike, but he is anything but a king.

“A king is merely a human who fancies himself ruler of his own filth, any rat with a stick sharp enough can be king. The emperor strives to be god among his subjects. They are after all merely the afterbirth left behind after the world was created. They know this in their heart of hearts and when you shed that pride, that independence it will show itself to be truth. They desire nothing more than to be guided at the chain by something greater. Ask any leach upon a pulpit, ask any wretch upon the street.” -Joshuah White


Joshua’s hunger lies completely in his need to dominate those around him, and many say it is also his madness and what makes him so violently dangerous. He is without a doubt a psychopath in the deepest meaning with ample vanity and self-righteousness that offers him the ability to do limitless torture to anyone who crosses him threateningly.

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Appearance:

Age: Appears in his early 30 or late 20s

Height: About 6ft

Body type: Slim yet reasonably fit, not particularly showy in the muscle area

Eyes: Dull black-ish ordinary dark eyes

Clothing: He always wears suits of varying styles but usually of bland colors like gray and black, no hat or gloves but expensive looking shoes and a wristwatch made of real silver.

Attributes: A hint of stubble on his narrow chin and the slight scent of cigarettes that clings to his clothes and skin. He's a smoker but not a heavy one and pleasantly the smell isn't awful or strong. His smile is friendly when regarding strangers and common folk, people he sees on the street, his eyes notably dull or tired looking, they only seem to liven up when he is among his subservient captives. Then they take a much more fierce and lively appearance, the dull darkness deepening to a pit of unholy pleasure.

He is a devil in dress clothes. His appearance is startling in it’s normalcy. His tired eyes and mussed black hair could be the same of some worn out business man. His speech to anyone outside his pit is relaxed, even a bit humorous, his handshakes firm and calm, however should he for a moment feel as if your bounds have been overreached his grip would tighten and his aura would carefully leak from his unassuming form. You would be inflicted with visions of your own torture, being flayed alive, starving in isolation as gradually the temperature of your room dropped to the negative digits as long slim needles are slid into the gaps of all your joints.

It’s not quite clear where precisely White’s power comes from, if perhaps he has immense strength to overpower his victims and an aura to suffocate them or if he enters the mind to plant thoughts there. Its always been the case that he’d refuse to fight if pulled to it. Even if attacked he’d simply stand there, his hands folded neatly behind him, as if waiting for a child’s tantrum to pass. He has never needed, it seems, to fight for himself as he is protected by his followers both near and far.


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Abilities & Strengths:

Dominion-
This is his primary ability and his most powerful gift. His aura is that of utter domination and while he can’t make a slave simply by looking at them he can suppress their confidence and “seed” their subconscious if he’s given enough contact with them. Think of it a bit like mind control. One might do something as slight as listen to his voice on a commercial and a seed could be planted just by making them think he knows best when it comes to bringing food into the city. A seed like that dies quickly as long as that’s all you get is a brief commercial over some kind of media. The closer you get to him and the more times you see him the stronger the effect can build.

Dominion(conversational)-
The effects of his Dominion are harder to notice when speaking with him. If he doesn’t think of you as a threat, that is. Any average Joe speaking to him would get a very low dose. The result might be thinking “Ah, what a cool guy. Wouldn’t mind sharing a drink with him.”

Dominion(antagonistic)-
This is where the pull starts. Still he wouldn’t be able to control anyone he hasn’t had long term personal connections with but when he’s annoyed, angry, or wishes you to remember just who the fuck he is his antagonistic dominion will stir. If you’re close enough to him that he could reach out and touch you, you might hallucinate as his mind attempts to seize control from the inside. It’ll try to frighten you with images of your own torture and suppress you with a feeling of intense worthlessness.

Dominion(mind control)-
(Only effects NPCs and Humans unless you specifically want otherwise) This is what happens if he’s grown an interest in you specifically. It will happen gradually over time through sessions of violence or love, or both. The more your willpower gets scraped away by torture the more he’ll be able to influence the subconscious. If your mind shatters completely he’ll gain control over your whole body, meanwhile keeping your mind in a wash of whatever emotion he feels is necessary. The people under his control are either completely unaware (they think it’s their choice and that he’s a god or leader they should die and give anything for) Or they realize they are being controlled and are so subservient that they welcome it completely.

Other Abilities:

Physical strength- He can hold his own very well with or without a weapon however he considers it demeaning to fight lesser beings and will not fight as long as he has puppets to die for him.

Mob boss level influence- He knows a man who knows a man who will get you what you want. If only you do a favor for him




Desires:
-To rule over all, both humans and demons alike and become a god himself
-To be surrounded by a multitude of subservient creatures who look to him and him alone.
-To be wanted in body, mind, and soul.



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Name: Micah
Nickname: Mouse
Age: 17
Gender: Male

Human

"Just...don't try to kill yourself in here, alright?"

Introduction: Once a sweet, gentle boy, Mouse has become rather subdued, silent almost to the point of being a mute. He does not complain of his suffering and won't admit to his torture even after a cast is put on his broken bones, even after both his eyes are removed. He's learned by now that it's easier and more beneficial to his survival to let White's voice come in to his mind. To convince himself that White is good and that his punishments make him stronger. He doesn't need to see anymore, seeing just gave him cause to be depressed and want to end his life. It gave him false hope and allowed him to plot escape and got him into trouble. He's better off now.

History: Joshua found this boy very early on when he arrived in the city long before he became a CEO. Micah was a street urchin back then, humble, kind, and despite the stereotype of the homeless, very happy. On winter nights even though it was tough for him and his small group of kids to survive, deep in the heart of the city there were nooks and crannies in the old districts that were buzzing with energy from generators and pipes and everything that kept the city alive above them. They would hole up there. Even after the world became a desert the nights would still be below freezing though no snow would ever fall. He took a liking to Joshua White, drawn in by his natural kind nature. The man would visit them in his business man attire and feed them all hand made sandwiches and hot soup from a canteen mug. Back then he could have never guessed that such a kind gesture would end with him being eyeless and chained up like a dog.

So begins...

The Emperor: Joshua White's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe

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“Good morning White City, it is 8:30 am this Thursday morning and the weather for today-…”
A warm, friendly voice spoke up, echoing through the pristine streets of white city bouncing off the crystalline structured buildings jutting into the sky like spikes of steel ice pillars. Down on the streets set still miles from the hot dry soil and the cracked remains of centuries old asphalt and ground pollution Crowds thick and wild enough to rival Tokyo’s most famous streets bustled this way and that. Above the swarms of human bodies wound an intricate celtic knot of glass and plexi roads upon which small vehicles puttered by with a gentle hum. From the view of the tourist and the businessman White City was the epicenter of fortune and prosperity. The lowest crime rates since the rise of the rebellion thanks to an army of well-armed and strictly trained police and the absence of the poor and homeless. Everything seemed crisp and clean etched into chrome and glass.

At least, that’s what it would say on the brochure. Josh White was the Emperor and Mayor of White City and the surrounding territories. Only he and a few select closely affiliated assistants knew what the true engine of White City was powered with.

On that particular morning Joshua rose to the buzz of his alarm and the enormous plasma screen beside his bed blinked to life feeding him news on the inner city stocks and weather. He reached over to his bedside table and tapped the alarm clock before he sat up and tied a robe on.

“Get up, Mouse. We have work to do.” He said simply his tone brisk and deep. The figure who’d been next to him stirred in the mess of light sheets his slim body framed by the bunches and wrinkles in the fabric. He sat up, his back to Joshua bruises visible on the back of his shoulder and sides. The older man took no notice of the youth and poured water into a glass on his bedside table, waiting for him to fulfill his unspoken orders. Mouse rose without a sound and gracefully went to take his five minutes alone in the shower.

“Roue, show me my clients for the day.” Joshua stated, seemingly at thin air. An indicator sounded and the screen changed to potraits of several very rich looking men of varying ages. “A steel miller, the CEO of Technicorps and…Francis Roger… The steel mill, he’s situated-…."

“Gordon Tapsis, situated south in a village located in the area known as -..” The voice was cool, feminine and clearly an AI. Joshua made use of a computerized system to track his public business deals and penthouse security.

“The Rush Hills, yes yes. Used to be a landfill…. steel from a landfill? I never thought of that…” Joshua raised his eyebrows slightly, impressed. “Surely he has other reasons for choosing there though he wouldn’t get enough steel from buried crap, not good steel anyways. He’s also awfully close to Nox…”

“Records indicate he’s hired scrappers to truck in useable materials from the nearby ruins…”

“Genius.”Joshua muttered, wishing he’d thought of the idea himself. “Make note Roue. I need to consider the cost of buying out his business later.”

The indicator sounded again, a response stating the request was recorded.

Meanwhile Mouse took little time in the bathroom. He stripped of his boxers, flimsy things now stained with body fluid and uncomfortable against his skin. Removing them felt a bit like peeling off the diseased scab from a wound. He shuddered slightly as he stepped into the shower and swiftly allowed himself to be enveloped in steaming hot water. He was used to it by now. Used to the stinging burning pain of water against his bruises and bite marks. Used to the pang in his chest and the ache in his bones. He washed himself clean quickly in two minutes and spent the final three curled up beneath the stream of flowing water his knees against his chest.

“MOUSE!” A muffled voice reached him, causing him to jump despite the distant faded volume. “WHERE’S MY FUCKING COFFEE!”
Mouse’s face screwed up as he seemed to scream into his knees without a sound. He could still hear Joshua in the other room announcing something gleefully. “Three weeks in that cell should loosen him up. Yes, lower the temperature I want frost to form in the snot that comes out of that brat’s nostrils. I’ll go down to meet him face to face…eventually. I’ll make time.”

Hatred almost managed to reach Mouse’s expression. His brows knitted yet as he felt for the usual place he kept his clothing the feeling faded as quickly as it came. Every once in a while, when he was alone or listened as Joshua’s fist landed on someone else emotions would rise from somewhere within and nearly breach the surface. Ever since he lost his eyes the reason for these emotions became foggy and dark and unimportant. It wasn’t as if he didn’t remember the things that had been done to him. He remembered being in HIS place chained to the floor in a cold room in the dark with no assurance that food would come, that someone might open the door and save you or harm you.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe

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❝The forest that once was green, was colored black by those killing machines.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE799F ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFC469

|| Dirty Paws || Of Monsters and Men ||




Reyna's hands were covered in blood, a pile of bones being used to play a game to see how far she could throw them. The pelt was used in her collection of furs that Reyna sometimes clothed herself in, but mostly used as a blanket to block out the sand.

Eight hundred and twenty six days, she used a bone to make a notch in the tree, nearly down to the bottom now. Eight hundred and twenty six days with only her stuffed cat for company. It was a safe assumption to think that Reyna was no longer stable, both from the isolation and the demon lungs that had slowly infected her entire body, taking over her thoughts, suppressing the human girl and turning her into a crazed animal that had leveled mountains and stomped across cities like fireflies blinking out one by one. Her age was irrelevant, time didn't move on the Oasis; she had been sixteen for almost three years. Or maybe longer, Reyna had stopped counting for a number of days, possibly months. It was painful to think about it, almost three years and she was still stuck here, eating whatever animal dared cross through her precious land and thriving off of the tiny garden she had managed to plant from the scraps of fruits and vegetables in the backpack she had taken here.

"So Mr. Mittens," Reyna purred, combing her fingers through the fur of her stuffed cat. "How much longer do you suppose?" She tilted her head to the side in question, an ear flopping over. Mr. Mittens didn't answer of course, but Reyna snuggled him regardless, her fluffy tail wagging with pleasure as she imagined the kitten saying today. Today would be the day when Reyna's family would rescue her, when her fiance would appear from no where, taking her hand and leading her back home. Of course, Reyna was delusional. She remembered killing her own parents and the suicide of her fiance during the collapse of society. She knew they were dead and yet, her mind wouldn't stop believing that they would rescue her.

Every time Reyna attempted to leave the oasis she would get turned around and end right back where she started. Sometimes she would find the remains of a society, which is how she had gotten Mr. Mittens, but most of the time, she wound up right back in the Oasis, her tongue parched, and mind unable to think from dehydration. The half demon, half human probably wasn't someone who should renter society anyways, even if she was wanting company. Reyna had adapted to the harsh ways of the desert, becoming protective of her land, eating any passing by animals, making sure to guard her property from any suspicious shadows. Her sense of justice was warped. Shadows were enemies, clouds were something to bark at, suspicious foot marks that normally turned out to be her own set her on edge. It was hard to rationalize with someone who had no sense of logic.

Today, the sun beat down especially hot. Reyna wiggled out of her clothing, grasping Mr. Mittens in her teeth gently and taking him to the water with her, where both sunk into the cool depths that made the burning on her skin lessen. She had tied up her pink hair, ears twitching despite the fact that there were no sounds. When she was done, Reyna redressed and sat beneath her shelter, the heat wrapping all around her like a blanket. She was sleepy, but at the same time felt restless, like she was waiting.


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❝I am not your toy.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#3299CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #EE6363

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




Ronan cursed himself for being nice, for listening to the loop of a child's cry and attempting to free them, only to be trapped by slave traders. The last month they had spent trying to groom him, seemingly attempting to come up with some way to sell him. Apparently though, they didn't need any fancy slogans or embarrassing pictures. A man named Joshua White had taken one look at him and Ronan was sold. Of course, the ex hunter had spent most of his time attempting to find a way out. He would kill these traders, free the rest of his slaves, but Ronan's promises to himself were only fulfilled in his dreams. He remained in chains, unable to move in the cell as the traders came in, feeding him like a toddler with no motor function, dressing, and taking care of him until Mr. White could pick him up.

Of course Ronan knew who Joshua White was; he didn't live under a rock. One of the modern feudal lords that helped restore the balance to humanity by providing necessary resources for humans and demons alike. Ronan had never met him personally, had never heard him speak, but he knew White by name well enough. From then, Ronan tried to think of a way to overtake Joshua, to manipulate him somehow into accidentally letting Ronan go. Or to simply free the boy altogether. "You can dream up a thousand ways to kill us son, it ain't ever gone happen." One of the traders laughed on the day that Ronan was gagged and blinded, stuffed into a vehicle and whisked away to Joshua White's home.

Ronan felt the sun on his back for a mere thirty seconds as he was transferred from vehicle to the house. The first thing Ronan tried to do was escape. He wiggled, breaking through the cloth bindings and throwing off the blindfold as he ran, pushing past pedestrians and making it to the border. Ronan was just about to cross it when a terrible pain hit him in the small of his back and he fell over, twitching. "Now, now don't make such a fuss. Mr. White payed good money," the trader lifted him, people avoiding the man as they went back to the house, or mansion really.

The sun disappeared, replaced by darkness as Ronan was carried down, down, down into the basement. Someone was waiting there, another of Joshua's slaves that wordlessly caged Ronan like a dog, taking his clothes and leaving him in the cold, dark basement. At least Ronan still had his boxers. He tried to think on the bright side despite the fact that his body was at the moment useless due to the sedative in his blood stream. When it finally faded, his eyes had adjusted to the dark.

He spent the time scarring anyone that came in, threatening anyone that attempted to approach the cage. It become colder and darker, but Ronan persisted. He would have his freedom, even if he had to kill Joshua White himself.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe

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The Emperor was without a doubt a businessman. His façade as a mayor or some kind of city state leader gave him power over laws and bills and treaties but in the end it was all one big security ploy to keep his position as a business leader safe. Mr. White was a billionaire. His home was a penthouse at the top of a mountainous skyscraper and it was quite literally a mansion perched on a roof. Tony Stark style grandeur with a fully manicured lawn and garden and a waterfall that cascaded off the side of the building and flowed through a green energy generator hidden in the jagged semblance of sculpture roves. The building itself was the Pearl Tower, his corporate center stone and a veritable fortress. The lower levels where open to walk in and looked very much like a five star hotel but gradually security choked the life out of visitors should they wander too far up the stairs. The elevators didn’t even go that high, the express elevator that went to penthouse level only opened with a bypass password or the handprint of someone Joshua trusted personally. The basement level was only accessible by maintenance and the way to Joshua’s hidden treasures was nestled among the mess of corridors and boilers and locked by a deadlocked palm scanner. A false identity would cause an automatic shutdown in that isolated system deadlocking the door in a permanent seal that could only be removed by clever use of C4 explosives.

Joshua West descended the stairs gracefully, pulling a small ring with a small metal key attached to it. It jingled lightly sounding much like a delicate bell. He was far deep underground beneath Pearl Tower, even deeper than the containment floor where a batch of the newest captured slaves were being confined and put through initial training. The stairs lowered, winding gracefully into a dull wide room with a high ceiling. In the past it had been used for other illegal activities such as dogfights and unregulated boxing matches. There where chambers such as this dotted all over the city with entrances found within all sorts of places, usually located in the lower city. fFom butchery shop storage rooms to old clubs. This one hadn’t been used in a long time, long before Pearl Tower was built. West didn’t know it had even existed until he started plans to establish his slave trade under the basement level.

The room was empty, the air dry and chilled as though just outside the walls a frigid winter had been blowing mercilessly. The only sound audible was the quiet sigh of an air conditioner set somewhere in the walls. The only thing in the room was a cage ten by ten feet in size with a single figure in the center. Josh hesitated, his dark eyes trained on the figure motionless in the cage. He reached out with a slender hand and gestured slightly over the sensor on the wall. A light blinked in acknowledgement and a light ticked on. Its old fashioned bulb seemed to shock to life sending a wave of bright light over the boy in the cage. It was only one light yet within the cage it would have seemed comparable to the light of a solitary sun until it dimmed slightly and settled at an off-white glow.

The boy in the cage was Ronan, Joshua knew the name well by now despite this being his very first time seeing the boy up close. He’d been caught one evening snooping around his tower with an intent he was not happy to see in the slightest.

Joshua slammed a fist against the bars causing a rattle to jolt violently through the slim threads of iron. The cage appeared to be forged from the same sort of dark cast iron made into fences built around large ornate houses that had been prevalent once upon a time.

“Ronan Ronan Ronan.” He said in a slow drawn out sigh. His voice. It seemed so friendly and warm in the many dozens of times that it had been broadcasted over the speakers that dotted his crisp clean streets or over the television next to his handsome smile. Here it seemed to hold the same smooth charismatic feel with something else tinted in its tone. His beetle dark eyes peered down at Ronan as he watched the boy take in his surroundings. A collar had been latched around his neck thick black leather padded with a thin layer of real fur on the inside as if they’d taken the skin of a dog or something and fashioned it, dry and stiff around his neck. A chain connected him to the ground long enough to coil against the concrete. “Look what you’ve done, Ronan, got yourself into quite a pickle, a bit of a mess…”

Joshua unlocked the cage with his key and swung the door wide as if he were welcoming a guest into his home. “We’re going to have a little fun you and me. Allow me to introduce myself.” Joshua entered the cage boldly and confidently his key still in his hand, expecting full well the possibility that Ronan would try to attack him right off, the chain was long enough after all. “I am Mr. White. Mayor, emperor, master, and the only human being you’re ever going to need from here on out.”

There was something entirely off in the way that White held himself and the way he spoke. His eyes looked dead yet his lips where drawn in the most enthusiastic smile. Each step seemed in part a bound, light and graceful and full of energy and a suffocating oppressive aura seemed to seep from him like unseen oil. It had a strange effect, slow and building, like the beginnings of an anxiety attack.

“Isn’t this what you wanted, Ronan? You wanted to see my glorious enterprise, right? Here it is!” He opened his arms wide. The key was still loose in his grip, glimmering tantalizingly in the disquieting uneven glow of the single light. “You got to see it up close in personal! Not many people get to do that.”

“Tell me, how were the traders, they didn’t harm you too bad did they? I told them to go easy on you, I wanted to break you myself after all. They didn’t soil you did they? I know they’re professionals but I’ve heard stories, you know? Some of the guards get a little rapey surrounded by all that fine product.” He stared into Ronan’s hateful spiteful gaze. “I’d have to…let you go…if they raped you, you know.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Urara Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe

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❝The forest that once was green, was colored black by those killing machines.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE799F ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFC469

|| Dirty Paws || Of Monsters and Men ||




Reyna had been drifting off to sleep, enjoying the silence that permeated the air like the suffocating heat. Sand tracked onto her new blanket, sand always got everywhere, there was no use in trying to keep it out as Reyna had learned long ago. Now she embraced it, scratching it from her fur and hair with nails sharpened by years of grinding them against a tree. Reyna sighed, looking at the plants she cared for ever since her first day here. She was a guard watching over the treasure, attempting to stay vigilant despite the sleep pulling at her eyes. Only a few minutes, Reyna had promised herself, a few minutes and she would be right back on her feet, taking care of her garden. Mr. Mittens attempted to urge her from sleep, but Reyna stroked his head to reassure him, hand resting on his fur.

"Reyna sweetie, I'd like to introduce you to someone." The daughter of the socialite bounded down the steps, blonde curls bouncing, eyes sparkling. Reyna was a different person then, terrible lungs, a happy smile; human. Standing nervously in the living room was her future husband, a boy a bit taller and older with brown hair and green eyes. Reyna smiled and his heart seemed to stop. "How do you do?" She asked, holding out her hand. Her parents had raised her like the socialites of the old age, perfect manners, fancy dresses, surrounded by glamour and tutors to teach her everything she needed to know.

He kissed her hand, bowing and standing. "My n-name is-is K-Kristoff Swift." Reyna giggled at his nervousness, straightening and giving him another heart stopping smile. "My name is Reyna Violetta Lillian King." He smiled and Reyna's mother interjected. "Kristoff is your betrothed, you two play nice now while the adults talk." Reyna nodded her head, taking Kristoff's hand and leading him to the garden. "Aren't you upset?" Kristoff stopped once they had gotten outside. "Just being handed off like that with no decision as to whether you actually love me or not?" Reyna turned, tilting her head to the side in question. Kristoff thought that if she had dog ears, they would have flopped over and it only made his cheeks blush.

Reyna shook her head, "As long as everyone can be happy." Reyna replied, "Besides, I'm only 7. I have plenty of time to fall in love!"

"Hey dog, you're mine!"


That's not how the memory went. Reyna's eyes snapped open, standing on all fours in alert. She growled at the approaching figure, an orange haired girl with a big attitude for her small size. "Reyna is not a dog." She hissed, "Reyna is a fox." her ears lay flat against her head at the threat, the demon's smell surrounding her. "She is not your anything." Especially not her dog. How had this girl gotten here? Reyna hadn't heard her coming, she hadn't smelled her; but now she was here.

What if she wanted Mittens? Reyna stood over the stuffed cat protectively. What if she was here for the garden? Reyna wouldn't share, she wasn't going to let this weird girl take any of her vital food. "Leave if you'd like to continue living."


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❝I am not your toy.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#3299CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #EE6363

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




Ronan wanted water so badly. His throat felt parched, like he was walking through a sand storm with no canteen of water. The basement was freezing, the absence of light only serving to make the dank space even colder. He was forced to wear a collar like a dog, chained up most likely in fear that he would get away. Even if he got out of the cage though, the stairs had lifted into the ceiling, taking the light with it. Ronan wouldn't know how to get up there in this darkness, even if his eyes had adjusted the smallest bit visibility was still only at about 30%. Ronan quit moving, the chains made noises that hurt his ears every time he adjusted to their pull. So he sat in silence at least until; drip, drip, drip. Water! His expression brightened and he moved around in search of the dripping sound, in search of something to quench his thirst.

He stuck a hand through the bars of the cage, testing it. There was nothing, no after effect or shock. He could feel the water and every droplet that fell on his hand he licked off the surface, slowly making the thirst go away. It was agonizingly slow, but eventually, Ronan was no longer thirsty. It was when he sat back in the cage, wiping his hands on his boxers that a creaking filled the basement and someone descended the stairs, causing the lights to turn on. Ronan squinted at the sudden brightness, recognizing the figure that was coming down the stairs. He had, actually, met Joshua White once when he was very little. His presence had been larger than life and Ronan recalled wanting to grow up to be just like him.

Now though, Ronan was disgusted by him. The man in charge of a vast network of slave trading, kidnapping, sullying, killing. "I know who you are." He growled, getting to his feet despite the weakness from lack of sleep and food. The man had the gall to open the cage, to step inside. Ronan didn't attack though, no, he was going to bide his time for now, wait until White had finished his speech and gestures. "I'm only here because you're selling human lives like food you pig." Ronan snarled, then, a smile. "They're willing to pay quite a hefty sum to anyone who could destroy your little empire. I knew the risks when I took the job." However, he hadn't anticipated to be caught.

No one ever expected to be caught though and yet, it happened. Joshua spoke, there, nuzzled into his cool words was a chance at freedom. Ronan still had his pride though and he was conflicted. His expression softened; if it were a chance to get out he would use it, even if it made him want to die to speak such a lie. "Yes," He whispered, hands balling into fists as he sunk to his knees. He wrapped his arms around himself, leaning against the bars of the cage. "They-they touched me, they kept saying that what you were going to do was worse." It was a lie of course, any trader that had gotten too frisky was quickly punished. The head of the Traders had wanted Ronan untouched and so he had isolated him in a cage with no windows.

Ronan looked down, falling quiet for only a moment. Then, at the most unexpected time, he leaped, attempting to grab White by the throat and take the keys. Pain suddenly racked his body and his fingers brushed White's pants as he fell, moaning in pain.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe

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White got a strange sense of pleasure out of peering into those furious disgusted eyes and the way they looked up at him in defiance.They seemed to outright burn with will-power, dying the sharp clear blue with blood. He loved it. It was the reason he had bothered to take him as his own. That look in his eyes. He wanted to watch it splinter into madness then dissolve into the hard emptiness of devotion.

The only thing that cause his pleasure to falter was the faint possibility that Ronan had in fact been sullied by the traders. It wouldn’t be beyond them, though most of them had a fairly strong dose of his power by now. Certain things poked through and made them unpredictable, disobedient. His smile flickered and vanished and he studied the boy’s face for lies. He closed the distance between them and yanked back the boy’s head by his hair. The rich scent of fire and defiance had vanished so suddenly leaving a pathetic trembling rat in his grasp.

“Lying about this would not be in your favor, boy. Soiled goods get tossed, bloody to a pack of coyotes and they are scavengers, they won’t care a lick if their dinner comes broken and stuffed with filth.” Joshua snarled, a hint of cigarette smoke tinting his breath.

Joshua’s smile returned as if it had never left his face, letting Ronan go before stepping just out of his reach. Finally, he decided to pocket the key to the cage and went on to remove his suit jacket and loosen his tie. “Let’s begin. I’ll see firsthand just how pure you are.”

Joshua left the cage and hung his jacket on a hook barely noticeable on the wall, the cage key with it. Today would be easy for Ronan. He didn’t intend on using any tools. Josh approached Ronan with a dangerous glint to his eyes and immediately he went for a grab at his collar to lift him to his feet.

Ronan groaned as White took a handful of his hair, pulling him up. He could taste the disgusting smell of nicotine that furled in fumes into his airway and made Ronan cough. Joshua White shoved Ronan back down, leaving the cage to hang up his tie, as though he were afraid of the cloth becoming as blood stained as he himself was. "You don't scare me." Ronan hissed as White returned, grabbing the collar around his throat and yanking Ronan to his feet. There was something dangerous in Joshua's eyes, as though he were expecting resistance-no as though welcomed it more likely. It sent a shiver down his spine, knowing that White wanted him to resist, most likely so he could try harder to break him. Ronan wasn't going to give this man that satisfaction, he wasn't going to get a rise out of him anymore.

"Oooh I know, boy I know it so well. You don't fear me you're disgusted by me and it's beautiful, it's a wonderful thing to see it dance in your eyes." He snarled, almost as if he were maddened, intoxicated by something that wasn't even there. He brought up his knee and buried it into Ronan's abdominal cavity, Barely letting him double over before sending a fist slamming into the side of his face. "What were you doing Ronan? Snooping around my house, my tower?! Did you think you could save them all? Who are you Ronan some sort of hero? Some sort of God? You'd have to be to think you, a child could stop me."

"You want to kill me don't you? Here's your chance. Do your worst. I have no weapons here I'm as vulnerable as I will ever be with you and you alone. This chain does nothing but keep you from wandering out the cage anything else is your own weakness. Kill me, if you can, boy." He spoke with such disgust towards Ronan that spittle flecked from the venom in his words. He glared down at him, outright daring Ronan to try.

Ronan groaned once more due to the knee to his abdomen. The fist to his face had hurst less. He was used to being hit in the face, as a merc you became accustomed to all sorts of pain. "They were just kids!" Ronan growled, rising to his feet. "You took children and turned them into toys!" His fury bubbled to the surface, over boiling and spilling over the side, causing Ronan to lunge. He aimed for the face, ready to kill this man and claim his reward, to set all of the "slaves" free. "You're a monster!"

"And you are pathetic." Joshua laughed, he narrowly avoided the lunge to his face with a mere jerk of his head and swept a foot beneath Ronan to trip him. "What you think the world cares? I sell them because people want them. The market runs itself! I merely embelished on what was already there."

Ronan had anticipated the foot, he rolled, getting back up on his feet. His crystal clear blue eyes became clouded, their color slowly changing to red. "They have families! People who miss them!"

"And they can have them back if they pay just like anyone else." Joshua picked up the chain confining him to the cage and yanked at it pulling him forward. He brought the chain around and wrapped it around Ronan's neck pulling him close, tightening it until it was impossible for him to breath. "What....is there someone you miss, Ronan? Is that why you're on this hopeless endeavor? Huh? Could you not pay to save your loved ones?"

"They should never have been taken in the first place." Ronan growled in reply, the chains binding him suddenly yanked on, causing his second lunge to misstep and ending up right in Joshua's arms. The man wrapped the chain around Ronan's throat, choking the air from him. His question hit right at home. Yes, there was someone Ronan missed, someone he could never bring back. "Everyone..... I love.... Is... Dead..." He managed to choke out, elbowing Joshua in the stomach hard so that the chains were eased just a bit. He sucked in as much air as possible, the red in his eyes becoming more prominant.

Joshua grunted this time, slightly but it disolved into a smile at Ronan's response. He let go of the chains and released Ronan. "Ooooh poor you. Lost your family to a devil somewhere and has to go scratching at posts to fill the hole." His tone was demeaning, taunting like a child on the playground."

"At least I'm better than you." He suddenly grinned, "You're just an old man so desperate for love you have to buy it."

Joshua's expression became difficult to read. He tilted his head back slightly and smiled. [color=#3B240B]"Love? Hardly. I was born to have dominion over all. It's only natural that I have bedmates and playthings. Love is for those who can't earn greater things. Who struggle and flounder in the soil, and for those with too much time on their hands."


Joshua then became either bored or irritated with the subject. "Enough of this...dancing and talking I have still yet to know if you were lying to me. I don't like liars."

"Sounds like you're just making excuses." Ronan replied, knowing he had gotten to him, just a tiny bit. The smallest hit was a victory in this case and Joshua seemed to want to move on, confirming Ronan's guess. "Well then you'd hate me." He tried to move back. "May as well just throw me to the dogs now, better that then serving under the likes of you."

The more that Ronan spoke the less interested Joshua became in hearing what he had to say. It was all things he'd heard before. The typical "You'll never take me alive" crap. It was time to get past this stage and show Ronan how it was to be from now on.

Quiet was more scary than loud. Ronan wished the freaking man would say something, throw a punch, make a retort but all he received was silence and that was even worse. When someone yelled, you knew how they were going to act. Silence, silence was unpredictable it could mean many things, most of them never good. So Ronan's triumphant grin slowly fell as he became wary of the man before him, his eyes going back to their spotless, sparkling blue.

Joshua's sanity was something no one had ever questioned. Not up front anyways and certainly not to his face. As Josh stood there, breathing calmly, eyes fixed on the boy before him his mind shifted through the various other boys and men who stood before him in that exact way with that exact look in their eyes. In that moment Joshua wouldn't have been able to recall who Ronan was or why he'd even captured him. He felt neither anger nor a fiery violence in his heart, and as he approached Ronan his very aura pulsated with something that couldn't completely be transformed into words. An oppressive seeping sense of all encompassing listlessness. Tinted ever so slightly with desire. Not Ronan's desire. Joshua's desire and his need to possess. To have, own, and control everything. Joshua leaned very close to Ronan, eye to eye, his gaze glassy and listless. "You're not going to escape from here. Nor am I going to kill you. Not unless I have to. You don't have to feel any of the harms I place on you or the harms I place on anyone else. They don't matter. You won't feel them. The only thing you will ever feel again is me."

He placed a kiss on Ronan's lips and without warning bit into his shoulder with all the strength in his jaw, grinding his teeth into the muscle and tissue until he nearly hit bone. There was absolutely no reason for it, no warning but all the sudden Joshua had wrapped his arms tight around him and wouldn't let go.

A shiver tickled his spine and Ronan tried to step back again. There was no way to escape, no place to run. He was chained to the floor like a dog, the presence of White suddenly becoming overwhelming and taking up the entire space of the cage. Suddenly, there were lips on his. Ronan fought back, spitting as soon as he had the chance but White wasn't done. He bit into Ronan's shoulder and the boy screamed, blood gushing down his shoulder, running down his side and staining the boxers he was wearing. He tried to push White away, to struggle but pain filled his body with every move. "Let go!" Finally, Ronan managed to push him back with his other hand, gently touching the wound with shaking fingers. There was so much blood, muscle and tissue exposed.

Knowing it was probably a terrible idea, Ronan lashed out; he wasn't going to hurt him physically, no. Ronan wiped his blood on White's suit, grabbing him by the shirt and pulling his face close to his. "I'm going to kill you." He whispered before letting go, falling to his knees in pain.

Joshua smiled faintly wiping blood from his mouth. "I told you, if you're going to kill me do it. The longer you wait the more suffering you and the dear slaves you care so much for go through." He wasn't entirely sure why he'd bitten him. It had come over him all the sudden. He glanced down at his stained shirt and frowned deciding that would do for now. He learned alot from this play. Perhaps he'd have the boy meet Mouse. "Try not to mess with your wound too much...it'll get infected."

With that Joshua turned, retreived his Jacket and closed the cage behind him. He would have a doctor patch his shoulder up later.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Urara Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe

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❝The forest that once was green, was colored black by those killing machines.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE799F ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFC469

|| Dirty Paws || Of Monsters and Men ||




The girl called her something strange, Rey-Rey? She didn't like the sound of that. Was this child mocking her? Reyna was prepared to attack when the girl came at her like a speeding bullet, tackling Reyna and causing them both to roll into her shelter, Mr. Mittens a casualty in their spinning. The girl pulled something from her bag, the smell of meat filling Reyna's nose. Her eyes widened, where had this girl gotten bird from?

A bit of drool leaked from her mouth and Reyna shook her head again, snapping herself out of it. No! What if the meat was poisoned or spoiled? Just in case, Reyna kicked the girl away and grabbed Mr. Mittens in her hand, running out of the hut and onto the other side. She put Mr. Mittens down protectively and hissed. It would take a lot more than food to win her over, there was no way Reyna would let something like that distract her.

Her stomach made a sound that indicated hunger and Reyna became distracted, forgetting about the girl and her offering and going to the garden. She dug up some sort of tuber and grasped it in her teeth, running back over on all fours to Mr. Mittens to share it with him. Reyna split it in half, wolfing down the part she didn't give Mittens.


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❝I am not your toy.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#3299CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #EE6363

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




He sat at he bottom of the cage once more, the lights darkened, head spinning from loss of blood. Ronan could feel the sensation in his shoulder slowly going away, taking the use of his arm with it. He winced in pain whenever he shifted, attempting to find a comfortable position. There was a creaking sound as the stairs descended, revealing a new character. This man was in a white lab coat with a grim expression; a doctor no doubt. He opened the door to the cage, stepping inside. "I'm here to fix your shoulder." He stated simply and lay his tools on the ground. "Don't touch me!" Ronan snapped as the man came near him with a needle. Ronan hated needles, he hated any sort of pain.

"Don't make such a fuss, I'll be finished quickly."

"I said don't touch me!" Ronan suddenly leaned forward, causing the Doctor to jump back. Despite the large beard taking up half his face Ronan could see the scowl. The Doctor left, returning shortly with two slaves. Ronan was stubborn, he didn't want any aid, not if it was from White. Then he would owe the man and this was a dangerous place to have debts. "Don't come near me," he hissed in warning. He was weak though and his head was spinning. One slave held down his legs, the other his abdomen. Like this Ronan couldn't move much, especially without making his shoulder hurt.

The Doctor injected something into his arm, making the remaining muscle relax. He cut and tied and sewed, finally wrapping the wound up in white bandages that seemed so pure and out of place in a basement full of filth. The slaves let go of Ronan, following the Doctor back up stairs. The lights closed, leaving him in utter darkness once more. Ronan was growing used to it though, the bitter cold that bit at his skin, the loneliness of being in the basement by himself. He lifted his other arm, the one that wasn't hurt, the jangle of chains combined with what Joshua White had done before giving him an idea.

Ronan suddenly felt overwhelmed with glee. Yes, he would rejoin his parents and brother, reunite with them at last. He wrapped the chain around his neck, pulling in order to cut off the flow of oxygen to his lungs. It would be a slow death that was certain, but Ronan was reassured by the thought that the pain and suffocation would be worth it in the end. "Wait for me little brother." He murmured, a smile on his face despite the fact that he couldn't breathe.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe

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"I wouldn't do that if I were you."
The voice was quiet, gentle and seemed to come from the darkness in general. A slim figure became barely visible from beyond the bars of Ronan's cage. He grasped the bars crouching with his forehead pressed against the cold metal. He wore formal clothes, a slim suit with a dark blue tie, a black cloth wrapped around his eyes.

"I tried that once. He keeps cameras in here and the collar is wired." Mouse had sneaked in on a whim, part of him was sure it had been Josh's own influence acting on him telling him to go there. It would be just like him. He always knew. His job was to talk him out of it no doubt. Mouse wasn't sure he wanted to. As if on cue a sharp sudden spark of energy jolted through smooth studs in the leather pressed against Ronan's throat. They hardly poked out and had seem like simple studs meant for style so it would have been easy to overlook them. The jolt didn't last more than a fraction of a second but would have probably been enough to loosen his grasp.

Ronan was startled by the quiet presence he hadn't noticed. There was a boy there, about the age Ronan's little brother would have been. He was wearing a strip of cloth over his eyes but despite this, seemed to be able to get about the room easily. Ronan glared. "I have no other options." He managed to get out. Suddenly, something zapped him and Ronan yelped, dropping the chain and sucking in a lungful of air. He glared, this kid had ruined his plan. "Oh yeah? Then why are you still here?" He asked, his hands going to his sides once more. His expression softened. Was White really doing that sort of thing to kids this young?

"Where else would I be?" Mouse asked. He sat down cross legged now, his suit crumpling informally. He absently fiddled with the bars, letting his arms slip through to the other side. He was slim enough that if he sucked in real good there was a chance he could have slipped through inside. "There's a reason people don't know about all this. Mr. White was really impressed you found out as much as you did."

"Is that why he's torturing me? Because he knows I know what he's up to?" Ronan asked, realizing with startling clarity that the boy couldn't see him. Ronan waved his hand to test his theory. "So you failed and he took your eyes? Or was that for something else? Stained his favorite suit? Accidentally called him by his first name?"

Mouse fell silent at the mention of his eyes. He touched the cloth, forgetting it was even there. "Don't make him worry." Mouse said suddenly, then he frowned, unsure why he'd said something so silly. Worry? Don't make who worry? Joshua? That didn't make any sense. "What's it like out there in the desert?" He asked instead. He'd never been outside the city, not even once. Even before he was blinded Joshua kept him closed up from the outside world, preferring to keep him away from other people. "You went there right?"

Was the blindness a touchy subject? Ronan asked, but the other boy seemed to forget about it. "Oh? Why not? He hates fretting over the children he's hurt." Ronan shook his head. He had no sympathy for Joshua White. The boy suddenly asked him something else, something about the desert. Ronan raised an eyebrow, not that the kid could see it. "Been there? I lived there." Ronan winced, the pain in his shoulder coming back as the Doctor's pain killers wore off. "You live there too, technically. Why? You've never been outside these walls?" Ronan shook his head.

"It's very hot." He started, "There's sand everywhere. It's kind of like the color of sun, or I don't know, do you know what colors look like?" He paused, wondering if that was insensitive. "Anyways, there's hardly any plant life and the only animals that live out there can survive off of one drink of water a week. There are smaller oasis, I've been to one that's said to be haunted by a demon but there wasn't anyone there." He scratched the back of his head, remembering the bounty he had missed out on for the pink haired beast that apparently used to terrorize civilizations. "Maybe if you help me out of here I'll take you to an oasis that's not ruled by a tyrant."

"Of course I know what colors are...I don't....know if I remember them right but..." He frowned again and trailed off but once Ronan continued on with his explaination a small smile seemed to form as he imagined what it would be like traveling across an ocean of sand hunting bounties and slaying bad men. "I....could try to help..." He considered. He frowned slightly. Somehow even thinking about it made his head ache. He felt a bit dizzy and pressed a palm against his forehead. "You....shouldn't though. He'll...He's only...." He shook his head. "You have to try not be punished, he'll let you walk around like me if you follow the rules."

Ronan frowned, noticing how the kid held his head at the slightest mention of his escape. His hold on him was that bad huh? "Being a trained dog is no better." He shook his head. "I'm Ronan by the way, what's your name?"

"Mouse." Mouse replied, a fleeting smile gracing his slim face. A memory flashed forth as he said it. A memory he'd forgotten years ago. He was probably only 9 and dressed in rags brandishing a piece of scrap metal like a sword as a bunch of other kids around his age danced around a half buried car pretending to be pirates. The world they lived in was dark and smelled of pollution and a world long forgotten by time. Engines huffed and churned constantly in the distance but the rubble felt like home. Mouse shifted the cloth to rub where his eye had once been expecting a dampness that wasn't there. Strange.

"Mouse?" That wasn't a real name, that was an animal. It hurt Ronan that this kid, Mouse, had been demeaned so much from human that he wasn't even considered on the same level of the food chain. Ronan smiled though, remembering that Mouse couldn't see it. He held out his hand close enough that Mouse could feel the heat from his body and hopefully know that he was trying to shake. "You alright there Mouse?" He asked, noticing that the other boy seemed to be transported somewhere for a second.

Mouse nodded, realizing he couldn't find his voice for some reason. He took Ronan's hand and shook it. "Hang in there Ronan." He said smiling. With that he glanced behind him, a gesture without meaning and without another word slipped back into the darkness, tinged with a sudden unreasonable fear of being down there for too long. Joshua was calling him away again.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Urara Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe

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❝The forest that once was green, was colored black by those killing machines.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE799F ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFC469

|| Dirty Paws || Of Monsters and Men ||




Reyna was enjoying her meal of desert potato, having nearly forgotten about the strange girl completely. She had looked away for one second and the girl shot like lightning at her, grabbing onto Mittens and jumping back. The potato fell from Reyna's mouth, her heart skipping a beat. "No!" Reyna screamed in a panic, standing on two feet and tripping across the sand in her rush to save Mittens from the evil child.

"Give him back!" She pouted, not wanting to be bullied by this girl but not wanting Mittens to get hurt either. "Reyna wants him back!" Reyna was incredibly short and up close, she realized that she and the girl were just about the same height. Her fingers just brushed Mittens tail, but the girl kept him out of reach. "Fine! Reyna will be friends with you, just give Reyna Mr. Mittens!" It was an act of desperation, but her fingers were crossed behind her back with one hand. She was going to go back on her word of course and as soon as the girl turned her back Reyna would kill her.

No one touched Mr. Mittens and got away with it. "Give him back!" Reyna had no real ability, she was only a half demon and so she only received physical demon traits. If she could, Reyna would have blasted the girl to next week.


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❝I am not your toy.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#3299CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #EE6363

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




Mouse moved, the boy seemingly hearing someone call him. Ronan had heard nothing though and as Mouse left, a terrible feeling sunk into his stomach. Ronan was alone once more, but he hated being by himself. He used to share a room with Wesley, he shared a room as a merc too. The only time Ronan was ever alone was when he slept int he desert while traveling and even then, it had been terribly lonely. Wesley would have been Mouse's age if he were still alive and the thought made Ronan glum.

Ronan lay on the floor, leaning on his good shoulder, in hopes of falling asleep. He curled into a ball, hoping he wouldn't freeze to death in this stupid basement.

Ronan was reliving that night again. He and Wesley sat in their room as their parents fought. Ronan didn't mind though, he was showing Wesley how to play chess and Wesley was already beating him. His little brother had always been like that, quick, good at games. He had bested Ronan at a game the boy had made up once and Ronan had to give Wesley his desserts for a week. "So the knight moves this way, okay?" He asked, showing him and Wesley nodded his head.

Ten minutes later, their mother came upstairs with a black eye. She smiled though, telling them to go to bed. She tucked both of them in, kissing her son's foreheads. Ronan had forgotten to tell her that he loved her as she closed the lights. Little did Ronan know it would be the last time he saw her alive. He figured he would tell her in the morning, he would wake up and tell her first thing.

Ronan never got the chance.

There was a demon in his room, eating his little brother, crunching Wesley's bones, drinking his blood. Ronan was forced to watch as Wesley screamed and thrashed but Ronan couldn't do anything and they laughed, killing his parents, forcing Ronan to watch.


He awoke with a scream, panting, clawing at the air. It was for this reason that Ronan hardly ever slept, knowing he would have to watch the same thing every night. Ronan used to take sleeping pills to knock him out and sometimes it would work, he'd be in such a heavy sleep that the nightmares couldn't come. Either that, or he'd get trapped within and be unable to force himself awake.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Luxara Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe

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Joshua stood gazing at length at the monitor before him. Displayed across the massive wall-sized device was a map of the Eastern Continent with a giant red blemish pulsating across the west. Styx. Joshua stared and thought all the while unbuttoning the soiled dress shirt he wore stained with Ronan’s blood. Great…just great. Nothing infuriated him more than seeing that angry red blotch spread across the land with such ease. That should be him. The fact that it was only accompanied by the arrogant blue glow of Faerun only added to his disquieting anxiety. He had waited long enough.

Joshua wadded up the soiled shirt and stuffed it down the silver column that was his disposal system. The device sealed up and a light blinked on as the shirt was incinerated, the ashes crushed and deposited elsewhere. Right about then Mouse finally had the nerve to appear. His hand glided over the Sofa as he walked in with the surefootedness of someone who had done such a motion countless times before. He stood a ways behind Joshua and waited for him to speak.

“Thank you for speaking to him for me. You did good. As a result I’ll allow you to visit him down there when I say you can. You seem to like him. Just know I can see and hear everything that goes on in this building. Especially in that room.” Joshua picked up the shirt he’d put out to change into and slipped it on, beginning to button it up. “Perhaps he’ll liven you up some.”

Joshua couldn’t help but notice the change Mouse had gone through with the loss of his eyes. For a while he’d decended into a catatonic state of shock, he stopped reacting to anything Joshua did to or with him. He didn’t speak and he made no efforts to learn how to get along without his eyes. Then, as if something switched back on he started to do things again, yet it felt somehow as if he were on autopilot. As if the real Mouse was hiding away. Something didn’t sit fair in Joshua’s heart. He had without a doubt succeeded in subduing Mouse completely yet it felt as if he were playing with a doll rather than a human. Joshua brushed the thought away as he fastened the last button. “Emperors don’t have regret.” He assured himself, under his breath.

“I have business to attend to Mouse, sort out dinner and find something for yourself.” He ordered as he switched the channel to a video call system. He had a lot to speak to Luxana about. Mouse gave a short bow and left the room.

It seemed that Luxana wasn’t at her office at that time of day, however he left her a short curt message. “Luxana, it is Joshua White of White City. I have much business to discuss with you concerning Styx and the state of our treaty of peace. Actions must be made based on the current events and I request a meeting with you and your council to discuss what we must do. I also have several business propositions of lesser importance. Contact me and we will make arrangements.”

Just as he ended the call a knock came at the door to his office. He glanced over, knowing who it would be. The door opened and a man in a maroon military uniform strode in.

“You asked to see me, Sir?”

“Yes, have a seat, General I’ll pour you a glass.” He gestured to the crystal bottle on his desk with a warm amber liquid inside it and poured a little bit of it into a shot glass for the General “We need to make motions and prepare for possible war. I am going to make as many efforts as I can to prevent it but training must double from now on and I’d like to start a recruitment regimen. I’ll need as many berserkers as you can afford trained up and given the packages I made 14 months ago. It should upgrade their rage state to a more suitable level and make them more compliant to orders. Triple production of arms and military vehicles and I’ll have rationing begin within the city to lower consumption rates in food and water. If things go south with Nox a famine and widespread thirst is highly possible in the future. I also want a special forces team on standby with our best undercover agent to execute my next order should I see fit need to execute it. Whatever happens, I need Nox. We need Nox.” [/color]

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Urara Character Portrait: Luxara Character Portrait: Xianata

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❝Oh no, there's nothing to fear, as long as you believe in the lies everyone shows you.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#d739ff ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #ccb43e

|| Discord || The Living Tombstone ||




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Luxara walked down the steps to the massive underground complex that resided under Nox Astra. Sure, on the surface, the city itself was smaller than White City and the enigmatic Faerun far to the west, but according to estimations, the subway system reached almost as far as Styx's own massive spread, stretching almost as far as Tigris Lake to the far south. The subway and rapid transit system was Nox Astra's pride and joy, already packed with people as they shuffled and out out of the many trains. This was Artemis Station, the central hub of the spiderweb like maze of the subways, where almost all the lines went to as they transported people two and from different districts of the city. Music played over the speakers, something happy and energetic that Nata had chosen early this morning to try and get people pepped up for the day. Of course, when in public, Lux kept her hair draped carefully over her clock eye, smiling with dissonant serenity as she paid her fare and stepped into the subway that took her to her home, at the eastern edge of the city that bordered Lake Xiana.

”Come home quick, Xara!" Xia said in a sing-song, clearly excited for Lux to try her cooking. The girl wasn't the best cook, but the owner of that diner seemed more than willing to offer her tips and tricks, as well as lessons in order to get better. It made Lux feel a little warm inside, that everyone was willing to be kind to her precious little sister. ”Don't take too long, or I'll eat it all!"

”Wait, no, no, don't! I'll get home as fast as I can, okay?"

What Lux didn't anticipate, however, was having a message forwarded to her from Cartwright, saying it was of high importance. Lux checked the message from the device she took from her pocket, inserting earphones so that no one else would hear it. Josh's succulent voice entered her ears again and Lux, naturally, relayed everything to Xia, keeping her in the loop. Talk about Styx, it seemed - that made Lux feel very relieved. She was very, very anxious that White might've chosen to try to annex Nox Astra in preparation for Styx's threat, and was glad he seemed willing to perform some kind of negotiation.

”Don't forget the business deals, Xara." Xia added sagely, sounding a little annoyed. ”He's definitely going to try to sneak it past you while you're focused on Styx,"

”I know. That's why I have you, to counter-act his abilities." Lux thought fondly, then focused on the business deal aspect. Was it about the water being sent to White City, or something else entirely? She was very aware of the man's habit of crushing small, independent businesses. There was this one person who was excavating rather close to her territory, the ruins of what used to be Praetora...

”Tapsis, that steel mill guy." Xia, helpful as ever. ”Or maybe Horloge Water Co, purified from cactus extract or something. They've been acting up as well. Do you want me to put in the order to buy them both?'

Lux said a no in her head, interested in seeing White's hand first. She'd have to message White back after enjoying Xia's seafood platter - something regarding Styx couldn't wait.




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❝Let's go on an adventure!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#ff5729 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #9877db

|| Chandelier || Sia ||[/center]



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Urara was having fun taunting the dog girl with Mr. Mittens, which was apparently the name of the silly toy. Why was Rey-Rey so attached to such a thing, anyways? Ura didn't really understand, it was just a silly toy, after all! Didn't Rey-Rey want a living, breathing friend to play with? Wasn't that more fun? What adventures could you have with a toy - and for that matter, where the heck did Rey-Rey even find the toy? It looked like a relic of the old days, of human civilization years past. Urara shrugged, not all too concerned. She instead kept playing, keeping just out of the dog girl's reach with a tricky, crafty grin. This was fun! So much fun, Urara really liked it, she liked it lots!

It would be funner if Rey-Rey was having fun too, though. Urara always liked it better when her friends were having fun, and Rey-Rey was one of her friends now, wasn't she? "Ura wants Rey-Rey to have fun, too, though!" Urara complained after Rey-Rey finally agreed to be her friend. Urara gently and carefully tossed the toy back to Rey-Rey, this time going in for a friendly and playful hug. "What does Rey-Rey like to do for fun? I want to play a lot of fun things with you!"

Urara was hungry now, so she dug into her bag, finding two more chicken wings in a plastic container. She took one out, biting into it happily, then showed the other to Rey-Rey, grinning. "Sharing is caring. Does Rey-Rey want one?" There was still water, too, though Urara wasn't sure if Rey-Rey needed it, seeing as she lived in a secret water place hidden in the desert. "Rey-Rey can have some of my water, too!"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Luxara Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe

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Joshua sighed. He’d taken the last few hours to for himself, enjoying a bit of the scotch he had on his desk and eyeing Mouse lewdly as he brought dinner out to him. Mouse could never see him doing this, obviously so Joshua felt no need at all to hold back, not that he would otherwise. His slimy gaze followed the boy’s groin and ass as he carefully placed a slab of seasoned pork on the desk in front of him wreathed in string beans and a dollop of fluffy white potato. The placement of each serving was perfect despite Mouse being completely blind. Mouse had taken great liberties in learning how to navigate without his sight. He could thread a needle perfectly if given the time. Mouse filled his glass of water and was about to go when Joshua wrung an arm around his waist pulling him back against his lap and making him spill a bunch of the water in his pitcher.

“Look at what you did. “Joshua growled grabbing at him roughly by the groin. He pressed his face against Mouse’s neck and inhaled, slowly. Mouse trembled slightly and moved to put the pitcher down but not a sound left his lips. He grimaced as the man’s hands went freely over him, clawing at the suit, now soaked in water. His heart drumming nothing but fear and panic in his chest.

Mouse didn’t get to clean the mess up until much later when Joshua got his fill. The man left him there, disheveled and pressing a towel against the carpet to soak up the water. His dress shirt was untucked, two of the buttons ripped off and his pants where draped over a chair and forgotten. Mouse waited until Joshua left the room, tugging his pants back up and muttering something about finding his good knife. Mouse trembled and curled up into a ball, burying his forehead against the cold damp carpet. He didn’t sob but his breath came in tremulous gasps as his head raced through feelings of despair. He couldn’t breathe. He clutched the carpet, wishing with all his heart that Ronan could be there to hold his hand again.

The sound of movement from a back room jolted Mouse back and his panic dissipated with worrying speed. He wanted to be done with it. Joshua would let him rest if he got the cleaning done, that’s how it was. Mouse busied himself and filled all his thoughts with a single goal. “Clean it…it’s a mess. Look what you did.” He muttered under his breath. “The carpet will get mold…”

Meanwhile Joshua was in a sort of high. He lit a cigarette and ruffled through the dressers in his room. There it is. The knife he had wasn’t anything special. It wasn’t a super multi-tool knife with 15 different unique functions or a terrifying skinner’s knife meant to flaying. It was a traditional survival knife with a curved blade and a perfectly honed point. Unlike some it didn’t come with a jagged spine. He took the knife and left for the express elevator to the lower levels. He was going to give Ronan a little visit.

Unlike his last visit Joshua entered without ceremony, his clothes where unkempt and he didn’t wear a tie or jacket. He merely unlocked the cage and descended on Ronan like a vulture injecting him in the neck with a sedative.

Ronan would awaken to find himself in a completely different room latched to a strange device that looked uncannily like x shaped cross used for torture in the medieval period. The primary difference was that instead of hanging completely by his arms and legs Ronan had small places to put his feet. They were still restrained to keep him from kicking using binding and small chains but once Ronan came to consciousness he would likely be forced to stand on his own strength. The room was still cold, as cold as the basement floor he came from and the metal device he was strapped to wouldn’t have helped in the slightest. His wrists where bound to either corner of the cross leaving him splayed like a starfish.

Joshua stood directly in front of him, slapping his face gently with his palm. “You awake? Up you get. This’ll be terribly boring if you sleep through it." The room they were in was small, cramped almost with each wall a pale awful sickly gray concrete and the floor eternally stained a rusty brown due to god knows what. The floor had a drain in it as well. Joshua turned his back to Ronan and examined his trays, most of which contained syringes full of unidentified liquids. Likely shots of adrenalin and the like. There were also scalpels and hooks and devices that wouldn’t look off on the set of an ER drama, but the one tool Joshua kept touching while he muttered and counted was a black steel knife. He picked it up and brought it to his face as if he were going to lick or bite it.

His gaze went to the bite wound already on Ronan’s shoulder, still raw red from the stitching. Joshua touched it gently and ran his finger along the seam. “I’m surprised it didn’t get infected. The human mouth has so much natural bacteria in it. Still time enough though, it hasn’t healed yet.”

Joshua had no preamble for his actions no long monologue explaining why or detailing why there isn’t a reason for Ronan’s situation. He simply dug his blade into Ronan’s abdomen right above the hip on his left side. He buried the tip of the blade in barely an inch, carefully carving a graceful arch up across his musculature to where the arch of his ribs was. It was astonishing how smooth and clinical the motion was and the wound itself barely cut all the way through the skin layer. He didn’t want to damage the muscle or organs beneath. He grinned. “Beautiful, like the arch on a Cello.” [/color] He smeared his hand across the oozing blood and attempted to pry the shallow wound open with his hand. “It’s amazing how adept the body is at keeping itself together. Don’t you see? The skin is attached to the muscle, I’d have to cut it away if I wanted to see what’s underneath. I won’t do that though. You’re not that kind of toy for me. That’s what I do to the ones who are already dying.”

For the next several hours Joshua turned Ronan into his piece of art. He cut this way and that, making smooth clear gashes across the skin being careful not to damage the tendon and muscle beneath. The only time he ever stopped was when a tone came from a speaker hidden somewhere in the room.

“Sir, there’s a call for you. Lux from Nox Astra.” The voice said in a bored tone that wouldn’t be out of place in an office building.

“Shit.” Joshua looked at his bloody hands. He couldn’t exactly answer like that. He grimaced and glanced up at Ronan. “You’re not going anywhere. Don’t move.”

Joshua moved with a swiftness down the basement halls. He tapped his earpiece with his pinky, hoping no blood smeared onto it. “Mouse. Get me a suit jacket and tie immediately and route that call to the General until I get there.”

He checked his shirt for blood smears and found only one on his side. How the hell did it get there?! The jacket will cover it. “I need to set up a secondary office down here so I don’t have to do all this shit.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Urara Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe

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❝The forest that once was green, was colored black by those killing machines.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE799F ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFC469

|| Dirty Paws || Of Monsters and Men ||




Reyna felt relieved that the girl tossed her Mr. Mittens back, she picked up the toy and hugged it protectively, tucking Mr. Mittens into her waist band. Suddenly, she was attacked, tossed to the ground. Reyna believed she was being attacked. She hissed and attempted to claw but the girl held her hands down at her sides, disabling Reyna. "What are you doing!" She asked, alarmed, the gesture of affection so lost on a girl who had gone so long without the touch of another mortal. "How do you know Reyna's name?" She asked, wondering if the girl was a mind reader.

If Reyna had abilities like that, she would have most probably torn this little girl apart. The girl let go of Reyna and went through her bag, taking out a container with chicken in it. Her eyes lit up, her stomach growling. How long it had been since she had eaten something aside from fox and desert rat. Reyna took the chicken wing from the child's grasp with her teeth, moving a bit away as she crunched through bone, stripping it of it's meat and licking the grease from her fingers. "Reyna has water," she replied and went to the pool of crystal clear water. Reyna knelt down, lapping up water with her tongue.


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❝I am not your toy.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#3299CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #EE6363

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




Ronan had been waiting, plotting. He would pull the chain around White's neck, choke off oxygen. He would have to move quickly though, lest he wanted the man to use one of his tricks. So Ronan lay in wait and the door opened, Joshua rushing inside, looking furious. Ronan was ready to leap but before he could so much as move, White jabbed his shoulder with a syringe and Ronan's world faded.

He awoke in an unfamiliar room, arms and legs tied spread eagle style. Ronan's head felt as though it had filled with led. He groaned as his vision returned, looking around what appeared to be a Medieval torture chamber. What was he doing here? Joshua White was speaking to him, asking him if he was awake, saying it would be boring if Ronan slept through this. "Where?" Ronan asked groggily, lifting his head to see the man turning his back, a tray of surgical tools at his side. The floor was stained with brown spots, terrible memories turned nightmares. White touched his shoulder, tracing his fingers along the seam of stitches the Doctor had sewn up hours earlier. "Go f*** yourself." Ronan murmured, his senses coming back one by one.

The man picked up a knife, a long elegant hunting knife Ronan would have used to cut people just like White down. Without so much as a word, he dug the knife into Ronan's abdomen. He gasped, blood splattering from his lips, dribbling down his chin. "What are you doing!" Ronan yelled, panicked. He gasped as Joshua began dragging the blade upwards, curving it and marveling at the incision. "Stop!" Ronan couldn't move, the pain overwhelming. White dug his fingers beneath the flesh, Ronan's blood spilling out, staining his boxers and dripping to the floor in puddles. He screamed as Joshua pulled at it, explaining something Ronan couldn't hear over the pain firing off in his body.

He wasn't letting Ronan die no, he was being very careful to ensure he didn't damage anything beneath. "Stop!" He would yell, nearly slipping off of the footholds. It hurt to stand, but if he didn't hold himself up the pain became unbearable. "Why don't you just kill me!" Ronan tried to growl but it came out as more of a whimper, a pathetic plea begging for death so that he could join his family. Reunite in a world where there was no such thing as pain, of course, if such a dimension existed.

It didn't stop. It was as though he were trying to trim Ronan down, taking off anything he believed to be excess. Ronan was light headed from loss of blood, the coppery taste thick on his tongue. Then a call came, but there was no respite. He pulled the knife out, telling Ronan he wasn't going anywhere, that he couldn't move. It wasn't like Ronan could go anywhere anyways, if he moved he would most likely bleed to death, not that he was far off from that already.

"Please, just kill me."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Urara

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❝The forest that once was green, was colored black by those killing machines.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE799F ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFC469

|| Dirty Paws || Of Monsters and Men ||




Reyna nodded her head, giving one last glance at Mr. Mittens. "Yes, Reyna would like that."She had listened to Ura speak of a white gleaming city, aptly named White City. Reyna thought about it, did she want to go there? It was a new city, a new start. "Reyna will go." She decided, Ura held out a hand. Did she want Reyna to give her paw? Reyna took Ura's hand and off they went, shooting towards a city at the speed of light.

When the world stopped moving. Reyna felt sick. She was wobbly all over and standing on twos was no good. She got down on fours, yes, that was much better. Reyna looked around, the city streets spotless, towers spiraling high in gleaming shades that seemed to reflect off the light of the sun. Everything was too bright too new; whenever someone drew too close Reyna would hiss, attempting to hide behind Ura. People looked at them curiously; they were whispering but Reyna could hear it, her large ears picking up even the most minute of sounds.

After living for who-knows-how-long in the desert, this was a major sensory overload. She whimpered, hiding her head beneath her hands and flattening her ears against her dirty hair. Someone approached the two, a man in a uniform. He looked down at the kid and put his hands on his hips. "I'm sorry to bug you ladies, but your friend can't go around in merely underwear." He took off his uniform jacket, using it to cover the girl huddled on the floor. "There's plenty of clothing shops down that way." He pointed to the fashion district, kneeling down to scratch behind Reyna's ears.

Reyna mewled, wriggling at the pleasure of scritches. Her tail swished, excited and pleased. "That's quite an unusual pet fox you've got." He chuckled and stood, "You can just drop the jacket off at any security post, it'll find it's way back to me." Reyna watched him go from underneath the safety of it. She looked at the jacket in confusion, wondering how you put it on. Reyna looked up at Urara from her seat on the floor. "Is Ura Reyna's master?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Urara

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❝The forest that once was green, was colored black by those killing machines.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE799F ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFC469

|| Dirty Paws || Of Monsters and Men ||




Ura answered yes, then scritched behind her ears. Reyna's tail wagged faster, an odd sound almost resembling a purr coming from her parted lips. Reyna didn't like the jacket, it was hot and stiff and smelled of the man who last wore it. "Reyna forgives Master." Reyna replied, still not used to the speeding bullet thing. They were in the fashion district, a place as seamless as the rest of White City. People didn't seem to like the two so much, they avoided them, going around them. Reyna followed Ura into a store, who picked out clothing, then looked at the price tag and in a fit of rage dumped all the clothing on the floor. Was she making a bed?

Reyna sat on top of the pile, walking in circles a few times and laying down. From her spot Reyna watched as Ura went about tearing the clothing from every hanger, disposing them onto the ground. A woman shooed Reyna away, out of the store and Ura was closely behind. The next few stores resulted in the same thing and soon, they were being chased. Reyna abandoned the jacket, it was much too restricting anyways. She ran behind Ura on all fours, wondering if they had done something wrong.

Ura apologized and Reyna sat on her hind, using her leg to scratch. "Reyna doesn't care." She replied, shaking her head. Ura asked if she wanted to go to her home now and Reyna sat up, nodding her head eagerly. "Yes, Reyna very much wants to see Master Ura's home." She put her hand in Urara's and the two shot off once more, speeding towards Urara's home.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Urara

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❝The forest that once was green, was colored black by those killing machines.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE799F ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFC469

|| Dirty Paws || Of Monsters and Men ||




They shot once more and Reyna felt it even worse than before, the dizziness that came with being cannon balled by a single touch. Urara seemed proud, when they stopped, Reyna had to wait for her head to cease its swirling. Ura spoke, saying that something wasn't right, there should have been more people, but the town square was empty, quiet. Reyna growled, sniffing the floor. She followed the trail of blood to a house where two bodies lay, slain. Their blood dribbled to the ground, pooling around them. Reyna returned to Ura's side, noticing a slight difference in her Master. It was an contrast in comparison to the giggly, happy go-lucky girl Urara had been only moments ago. "Reyna smells death." She followed Ura to a large building, where the smell of fear permeated their barricade. "Humans are frightened," Reyna sniffed at the ground, she didn't need to hear where they had gone, she could still smell it, the strange scent that lay over the town's sort of comforting scent.

"Reyna can smell them." She tried to get her Master's attention, but Urara had gotten it from the people behind the walls moments later. She said they should go to where the bad people were and punish them. Reyna grinned, revealing her sharp canines. "Reyna would like that very much." Then they were gone.

When they stopped, the men who smelled like death stood before them, grinning. Their scent tangoed with fear, most likely coming from the tied up humans in a truck, being transported like live stock. They leered at her minimal clothing, a sickening grin on the leader's face. Reyna growled, fur standing on ends. "Reyna will handle them!" She promised, claws and teeth ready as she was slingshot towards them. She sliced them to ribbons, a gleeful shriek coming from the fox. children screamed as they watched and Reyna suddenly remembered that these were innocents.

Her halting ended up in a hit to the head. She went flying into the back of the truck, leaving a Reyna shaped dent in the metal. "Now Reyna's really mad." She seethed, leaping once more. She bit and clawed and tore, reminded of the destruction of the cities she had brought to their knees. Leave one alive, Reyna realized, that way he could take the message back to his master that Urara was not someone to be messed with. "Has Reyna pleased Master?" The girl asked, tail wagging as she went to sit in front of her. The single remaining man coward, fleeing in terror. Reyna was covered in blood, but was smiling widely.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Luxara

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The screen blinked on and the General quickly adjusted his uniform to make it seem as if he hadn't rushed to set up his office for a council call.
"Ah, Lux. I deeply apologize on behalf of Joshua White he will connect as soon as possible." As he spoke his bushy mustache trembled and wiggled like a furry caterpillar stuck to his upper lip. He was dressed in the official maroon of White City looking a bit like an over-ripe cranberry with bronze buttons and badges glistening on his chest.

”No worries, I understand that Mr. White is likely a busy man, after all." The ruler of Nox Astra said pleasantly, waving off the apology. Her head tilted slightly - an indicator that she received a message from her younger sister, Xia, and her featured softened just the slightest tad. Xia seemed excited about the arrival of Aretha and Origin, and Luxara happily told her to enjoy herself if possible. There was barely a sign of this, however, for anyone watching the screen. ”Hopefully he won't take too long, however, General."

Joshua, at the moment, was occupied in the bathroom scrubbing blood from under his fingernails with a sponge as he cursed under his breath about foul timing and wondering if it was somehow a plot to undo him. He calmed however moments later when the last of the blood dissipated in queer foggy pink strands of fluid down the drain droplets clinging to the marble of the expensive sink. He sighed heavily his mind clouded with imagery of Ronan hanging luringly, dripping with blood"MOUSE!" He yelled, his voice harsh and angry. Mouse hurried from the office, clutching a feather duster to his thin chest"You go down there and make sure he doesn't die on me. Bind him up if you have to but DON'T YOU DARE let him free. You know what will happen to you if you even think of it."

Mouse trembled like a leaf at the mere consideration of the possibility and nodded quickly. Joshua flicked a hand to dismiss him and dried himself with a towel wiping his face to make sure no signs of stress showed in beads of sweat. A quiet beep sounded from seemingly nowhere and an announcement came to him in the sound of a slightly stressed officer's voice.

"Sir, we have a problem in security. The Financial district-"

"I don't want to hear it!" Joshua shouted. "Shut up and deal with it until I finish my council meeting. Alright? What do I train you for?"

Joshua let out a long hissing sigh and left the bathroom grabbing the dress jacket left for him by Mouse. He took a long careful breath and opened his line to communication. He flashed his trademark smile at the camera and greeted Lux his usual way.

"Lux, my dear southern neighbor, how are you this evening?"

”I'm fairly well, thank you." Luxara said in her room, surrounded by her many stuffed animals, not caring too much about things such as formality. She was home, after all, and she didn't feel like going back to the Lunar Citadel. A bed could be considered an office-type chair if you squinted, right? She grinned pleasantly at Joshua, her northern neighbor. ”How have you been, friend?"

Joshua found himself making quiet judgments as their correspondence began, noting her usual informality and taking that as a sign of novice leadership. ’Of course’ he thought absently, [i] ‘She was never really meant to rule was she?’[i/] He laughed openly however carelessly waving a hand. "You know how it is. Though it's mostly peaceful not much more than a drunken brawl to contend with here, there's a lot of business to handle here. This place is a booming metropolis after all. Moreover, I didn't really come to speak to you about that. My concern right now is Styx. He's advancing rather boldly and I feel we need to address it somehow, as a common trade alliance at the very least."

Lux nodded, face becoming more serious, a sort of dissonance between the toys and the ruler. The advances of Styx were always something to worry about, a begrudging thorn at everyone's side as their eventual arrival to the east would change everything if they weren't careful. There was something first, though, that she felt like bringing up. ”Before we deal with that, I heard there was a skirmish near your borders a few hours ago? Involving a mass abduction plot?" The woman's eyes seemed to glow with concern, though her clock eye was carefully hidden under the locks of night-colored hair. ”I figured your scouts would have heard of it, but I mentioned in just in case." She then brought up the latest spy reports from Styxian territory, with markings for predicted army movements and invasion dates, wiring them over to the leader of White City.

Joshua made a well-practiced pause at the mention of the abductions, taking care not to betray any worry in his gaze. "Abductions?" He said pointedly raising the tone of his voice in surprise. One of his officers listening in on the conversation as he'd been instructed to in every council call made quick motions to investigate anything related to abductions that could have been on its way to White's desk. "It seems....one of your caravans..." He spoke through a private channel in an earpiece, giving very little detail. Joshua made no reaction to the news. "Right well we'll see to that...I won't have suspicious activity in my territory." He murmured. He brought up the predictions on his screen and observed them. "What are your plans?"

”He seems to be pressing the villages nearest to your borders first." Lux muttered, still somewhat off put by the estimated strength of the western army. ”By razing your farmlands, I'd imagine he'd try starving out our armies. We could attempt to form an initiative and prevent Styx's advance altogether with what we currently have, though that would give us less time to prepare for the attack. He might not predict this, though it is risky for us." She paused, glancing, then marking an X somewhat near White City but also not too far from Nox Astra, close to a mountain range and as such naturally defensible. ”We could also allow Charon to take the outer farmlands, relocate your farmers inward and try to funnel his army into this location, giving us more time to organize and prepare. Admittedly, Charon might be able to foresee this course of action... Thoughts?" Xia mentioned something about Babylon at that time, saying they might want to help if they could. Lux saw no reason to bring it up as of yet, though, wanting to gauge Joshua's reaction before making a judgment.

Joshua took a moment, sitting back in his chair in thought. He really didn't know what sort of fighters Lux had but he knew his fighters where best on the offensive and when the opponent least expected them. Right now would be perfect but the effect wouldn't last after all Styx only had his raiding parties out. His real offensive hadn't even warmed up for battle yet. They'd wipe out the raiders then promptly get pounded by Charon's vanguard. "We have to bring them in. Charon might expect an attack but that might be to our advantage if we plan right. He'll bring his vanguard right toward us without knowing what arsenal we have."

Though Nox Astra's forces were very well equipped for wars of attrition, taking minimal losses while dealing damage thanks to a certain ability, Lux knew she needed to preserve that trump card for emergencies. If anyone, including her ally-for-now, Joshua, ever found out, it would mean they could prepare for it somehow. So Josh's words of the second option, luring in the raiding parties and the vanguard in order to deal a more decisive strike seemed much more beneficial for her in every way except for the likelihood that food would be a problem during the rebuilding process. "We could do that..." Lux said, voice carefully neutral.

"However..." Josh began again"Once we do that he'll know what we have to work with and neither of us have the personnel or smarts to defeat the entire Styx army alone."

Styx's numbers were terrifyingly massive. Even with the best strategies and tactics, the two of Nox and White weren't enough to last the full brunt. "About that." Luxara said, after briefly listening to a little tidbit of information Xia sent her way. "I've heard rumors of a... place in the west where the remnants of the faeries hide. If we could contact them and bring them into the Anti-Styx coalition, perhaps we'd stand more of a chance." A reluctant frown was on her face. ...Or if need be, use them as scapegoats for Charon to focus on while we strike him from the rear. As a last resort, of course..."

Joshua frowned slightly. "I heard that place was a myth. We ought to send a caravan, joint made to see if we can actually make contact before we make official plans to involve such a queer place. I'll not have rumors of fae magic ruin the fate of my city."

Luxara then smiled, full of sugar and sweetness. "What matters most is that Styx believes they exist, not if they do. With a potential enemy to the south of his own, he'd hesitate, allowing us to gain the advantage if we so wished."

"A theoretical threat only lasts so long as the enemy believes in it; I'd like contact with this....fae haven to make solid plans that actually do damage." Joshua said stoutly, waving off the sweetness with spite.

"Then shall we feign an opening in the valley I marked in the map for the time being as we prepare an.. anonymous caravan to seek out the fae haven?"

"That sounds reasonable. I'd like a catalogue of your military strengths before I send my people to aid you. I can send you my own in return. If we're working together we ought to know our armies to better strategize. I can tell you right off my berzerkers would make best for an ambush weapon. They can decimate anything that approaches that valley."

Luxara pressed a few buttons, sending the requested info which had no mention whatsoever of her time abilities - though Xia instantly scolded her for being too trusting, it was too late. Lux tilted her head just a tad, thinking. "Perhaps a joint force of my Fear Choppers and your Berserkers could attack in ambushes." Luxara proposed, voice inviting. "Our air force excels in speed, mobility, and guerilla warfare. They can easily disrupt enemy lines to create an opening for your berserkers to make thei mark." The Fear Choppers were the staple of Nox Astra's might, consisting of squadrons of helicopters with medium armor, armed with mounted railguns to demolish heavy armored targets, as well as a speaker that sent a signal that amplified the fear sectors of the human brain. The ground forces consisted of light vehicles that could move quickly and efficiently, with ranged laser weaponry, good for anti-infantry movements, as well as some heavier (though still small) tanks that could soak damage and deal quite a bit as well. These also had the ability to send out a rocket that emitted an electro-magnetic-pulse that could temporarily disable all enemy electric or laser based technology, though could only be sparingly used, and effective for a short period of time. Speed and mobility was the key here.

"Perfect." Joshua muttered, he sent her a detailed catalogue of his forces including diagrams showing the weapons involved but leaving out the part involving his brainwashing methods. Joshua officially had the best melee force in the country and a very mediocre tank and jeep set with unimpressive ranged weapons. His berserkers came up as the most threatening feature and showed up on her screen as wild looking men in formidable body armor with light weapons such as battle axes, hatchets, swords and other melee weapons lined in bright hot neon blades that had the ability to cut into untreated steel like butter. His more secretive forces where tanks, as in highly armored fighters with similar melee weapons as the berserkers but heavier and with stronger light blades that can cut through typical vehicular armor. Both were noted to have no concept of fear and very little response to physical pain. Detailed strategical movements were challenging as they attacked everything labeled as -enemy- with no concept of high priority or low priority. They wouldn't be well off in a hunt for generals and commanders in open battle.

Lux grinned warmly as she reviewed the data, glad to be able to work in conjunction with an army that seemed to compliment her own quite well. Perhaps the balance would be able to hold firm against Styx long enough for them to come up with another course of action. If all went well, that would be how it was. "Closer to the battle, we should convene again." Lux said with a friendly tone. "Is there anything else you wished to discuss, Joshua?"

Joshua's eyes lit up as he remembered his secondary request. He sat back casually, taking a sip of water from a glass and waved his hand dismissively. "Ah, nothing so important, just a little something about a steel mill on your border. You see he expressed interest in doing business with me and I figured you wouldn't mind if I bought his land off him." He grinned charismatically and spread his arms open handed in a friendly gesture.

Xia's words were sharp and snapped Lux out of the slight reverie she wasn't even aware she was in. No matter how casual Josh acted, Xia made sure Lux remembered that he was an intelligent and cunning businessman, rather than a war strategist. Lux's eyes focused and Xia muttered the name Tapsis into her head. "There is bandit activity in the area, is there not?" Lux's voice was soft, full of worry, though her clock eye was sharp. "I wouldn't want you to have to send your forces so far just for a steel mill, that wouldn't be right at all! I could simply place the man under my protection, couldn't I?"

Josh's charismatic grin dropped slightly, "Bandits? You think something as little as that could be a burden to White City and co? We can handle it!" Josh was never real clear on how she did that. It seemed she snapped out of her own will to obey every time he tried to pull the wool over her eyes. It wasn't right. It wasn't natural. He sighed impatiently and chuckled lightly, "Alright then. You can't help a friendly neighbor from suggesting, right? Perhaps after this Styx business you'll reconcider."

"We'll see, Mr. White." Lux offered Josh her best dazzling smile, seeming more like a cheery teenager than a ruler of Nox Astra. "It was kind of you to offer! I know how you care for small business owners in this cruel world, after all!"

"Truly it is they who suffer the most in this.... dismal desert." He crooned dramatically"Anyhow it was good to speak to you, I'll send you a few of my people for the journey to the Fae and begin the withdrawal of my farmers to that valley of yours. A heavy squad of berserkers and some tanks just in case as well to be stationed with your copters."

Luxara nodded, a bubbly aura emanating off of her as she clapped her hands. "I'll prepare similarly! Thank you for the call, Joshua, it really was a pleasure! I hope to hear of you later when the war with Styx becomes more imminent!" With a little wave, the display cut off.

Joshua let out a slow exhale willing himself not to throw the empty glass of water across the room. He touched the earpiece aggressively and spat angrily at the poor operator at the other end"MY CARAVAN?! WHAT THE FUCK happened to it?!" He shouted slamming the glass down as he got to his feet. The operator whom had all but fallen asleep on the other end jumped, nearly knocking his headpiece to the floor. "And what is happening in financial?!" [/color]

"S-sir! I...." There was a ruffling of papers as the operator fought to organize himself. "It seems that...someone attacked several shops in financial district, practically put the place to ruins. Millions in damages....and...the caravan, we're still waiting on details for that. It happened out in the desert so.....it's not as if we have scouts everywhere out there...our resources..."

"Well FIND OUT!" Spit flew from Joshua's lips as he shouted. The operator winced as another message appeared on his log.

"A-....also...sir....it seems...."

"Spit it out before I send someone up there to wring your neck!" Joshua snarled.

"One of your clients was murdered...."

At that point Josh promptly cut out as he had crushed the earpiece beneath his heel.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Urara Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe

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❝The forest that once was green, was colored black by those killing machines.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE799F ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFC469

|| Dirty Paws || Of Monsters and Men ||




Reyna didn't want to upset Master Urara. The water was stifling, a kind of heat Reyna wasn't used to, Urara said though that it was supposed to make one relax and so she tried. "Yes, Reyna likes it very much." Her ears twitched, the longer she stayed in, the more she could see why humans liked these sorts of things. It was no good for swimming though, Reyna had a sense that if she put her head underwater and tried to open her eyes it would hurt and so she fought against the urge to do so. When Urara called her a good girl, Reyna perked up instantly. "Oh yes, Reyna is very good girl." She purred, "Reyna will do anything for Master." Urara had proven to be a worthy opponent after all and the orange haired girl had let her kill a sufficient amount, satisfying Reyna's blood lust for now.

"Reyna is pretty?" She blinked, wondering if Urara was making fun of her. Before becoming a demon, Reyna had, had hazel eyes and blonde ringlet curls that children normally outgrew in their early years. "No one has told Reyna that." She shook her head, water flying. Urara came up to her, scratching Reyna's ears and rubbing her stomach. The combination of scritches made her tail swish and she purred in delight, not realizing that her layers of dirt were being scrubbed off. Beneath it was porcelain like skin, slightly tanned from living in the desert. Her hair was no longer an odd brown, but silky pink and ran down almost to her feet.

"Mr. Mittens cannot leave desert." Reyna replied a bit sadly. "Mittens belongs to desert." They would have to go to the oasis if they wanted to visit Mr. Mittens, that is if he hadn't been stolen by some of the animals lurking in the forest. "Mittens would not like hot spring, cats don't like water." By now a lot of the dirt had come off, she was nearly clean. The amount of tail swishing done from all of the scritches had taken most of the sand from her tail and her ears were thoroughly cleaned, revealing a shiny orange hue with contrasting white fur.


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❝I am not your toy.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#3299CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #EE6363

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




Ronan wasn't sure how long he had been forced to stand there, blood making the footholds slippery, each tiny adjustment sending ripples of pain through his body. He groaned, attempting to pull his wrists through the strap, ignoring the pain that spilled from both the slices and his lips, making his mouth fill with the taste of copper, like swishing around warm pennies on the tongue. He was panting, the more he moved, the more his energy seemed to slip away. Maybe it was for the best, he would get to bleed out and then he wouldn't have to be subjected to Joshua White's torture. It wasn't exactly a win, but it wasn't a loss either.

Except that this was an exceptionally painful way to die. He leaned his head back against the board, smiling slightly. "I'm sorry Wesley, I couldn't kill the demon that took you from me after all." There were no tears, no use in crying as it wouldn't magically save him from this fate, besides, Ronan had used all of his tears up years ago. The pain of Wesley's death was always fresh, like a stab worse than anything White's knives could inflict. Yes, the pain of being sliced open was nothing compared to that of losing his family.

Ronan's vision faded in and out, he had lost vision in one eye completely, everything going blurry and turning into vague shapes. "I don't want to die." He whispered, his shoulders shaking. "Not like this." His chest hurt, it felt like he was being crushed slowly, lungs refusing to expand with the intake of air. He closed his eyes, running on adrenaline and anger. He pushed forward, tugging against the straps, making the bleeding worse. "I'll kill that man!" He tried to growl, his world going out not with a bang but with a whimper. When he opened his eyes once more, they had turned red, flushed with anger.

Slowly they faded back to blue, anger turning to sadness which then turned to fear. "I'm really going to die, huh?" His eyes lost their sheen, becoming dull as life trickled out of him. The door suddenly swung open, a tiny boy scuttling inside like a mouse. He called a name, something with an R. It sounded familiar, was that him? No, it couldn't have been, no one would call out for him. He was some nameless boy, floating aimlessly among a sea of lost noises. Light fingers caressed his cheek, someone wearing a blindfold standing under him.

He said something about pain, about taking it away. The boy reached up, opening Ronan's mouth and holding it closed until he swallowed. What was this? It made his mind spin, thoughts becoming unclear like detached whispers drifting inside his head. Something touched his stomach and pain filled his body once more. Couldn't they just let him die in peace? Even in the end they wanted to tear him to pieces, to stretch his soul as far as it would go and see how long it would be until it broke. Again and again, tiny punctures. "Stop," he thought he said, his tongue heavy and thick in his mouth. His fingers were like butterfly kisses, touching the wounds delicately in a way that no normal human could. "Let... me... die..." He managed to pant, hoping the kid would perform a mercy and let the rest of Ronan slip away. The boy said something else though, begging him not to tell.

Tell what? Ronan couldn't remember. Had they done something? Was that why it hurt so much? The door opened and closed, the sound making him wince. It felt like someone was drilling into his skull, every sound ringing like an echo in his mind. Another figure stood before him, this one taller, his voice gravely like someone shaking a bottle full of rocks. Everything sounded like that though, almost like a radio transmission with too much interference.

A needle was stuck into his arm, his mind cleared a bit with the new blood. "You," he growled, his voice hoarse. He coughed, blood filling his mouth again. Joshua White buried his fingers in Ronan's hair, telling him he needed to stay awake and alert, not giving him permission to fall asleep. He wanted to tell Joshua to stuff it, but the man spoke again, calling him beautiful. He turned to his little assistant, Mouse, threatening to cut his throat if he gave Ronan anything. Something pricked his arm, the world becoming slow, his heart slowing, his mind feeling as though everything was moving through water. His body slumped forward, limbs no longer listening to his commands. His feet slipped off of the wooden pegs and he cried out in pain as his arms carried all of his weight.

The straps on his wrists came off, Mouse running over with a wheelchair. Joshua dropped him into the seat, a warm blanket wrapped around his shoulders. He shivered, not realizing how cold he had been. He tried to clutch the blanket, but his grip was weak, his fingers feeling as though they couldn't close. They went upstairs, a place where the sun could reach him and he gravitated towards the warmth but it was just as quickly taken away. A keypad before him, Josh typed in a password, but Ronan's eyesight was still fuzzy. He looked out the window when they passed through, blinking in an attempt to make everything clearer. He could see it, White City glimmering like polished gems. He knew where they were, could tell what time it was based on the sun's position in the sky.

His eyes widened as the exit appeared before him. They stopped, Joshua leaning down to whisper in his ear. He could do it, he could get up right now and leave. A smile of hope and relief came onto his lips as he reached forward. He tried to take a step, but his legs wouldn't support his weight. Ronan reached out as though he could feel the sunlight, but the elevator doors shut before he could figure out how to move, his hope sealing away with it.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe

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Joshua, Ronan, and Mouse rode the express elevator up to the penthouse that was Joshua’s home. The place was luxurious even by White City standards but everything seemed to be made in grayscale. Black white or shades of gray from the walls to the ceilings to the floors. It seemed Joshua had an obsession with it and if you didn’t know better you may forget and think you’ve gone colorblind looking at the surroundings. Josh didn’t bother giving Ronan a tour to his house he brought him to his personal bathroom and locked the wheelchair in place so he didn’t roll around on the tiles. The bathroom was huge and styled in the Japanese way with a separate shower head for washing off grime and cleaning your hair and a drain on the floor. Joshua helped Ronan to the stool and removed the blanket covering his wounded body.

“This may be uncomfortable but I assure you it’ll all be done in time.” Joshua said simply. Stripping out of his own shirt and rolling his pants up to his knees. “Mouse prepare a meal for later and make preparations.”

Mouse bowed and left leaving Joshua and Ronan alone. It seems Joshua’s usual manic violent air had dissipated. He examined Ronan’s wounds clinically checking the stitches for tearing. He turned the shower head on and doused Ronan with a warm gentle spray. He didn’t direct the stream over his open wounds but guided the water over them to wash the blood away. His hands for once weren’t firm or rough but gently guided Ronan’s uncoordinated limbs to make sure every spot got rinsed down. At that point he started the bath, setting the water to a comfortable steaming heat and adding foamy bubbles that rose up as the water splashed in.

“I can’t have you becoming infected and unclean, Ronan. Put your arm around me.” Joshua leaned forward and put Ronan’s arm over his shoulder so he could help him stand. He slipped the old boxers off and cast them aside without much of a thought.

He went on to clean him by hand with a damp washcloth laden with gentle soap. He dabbed the open wounds gently and massaged soap across his shoulders and back and made sure to get all of the important areas before rinsing him once more with the shower head. When he was all clean he lowered Ronan into the bath now foaming like a fresh beer and took that moment to wash his hair, massaging shampoo into his golden locks like a skilled masseuse. “Listen, dear Ronan. I cherish you. Don’t think that I take you for granted. I treasure you like I treasure my dear Mouse. If anything where to happen and I lost you to cowardice…. well…. It would be at great disappointment to me. You are beautiful after all and there is only one Ronan to be had. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mouse so lively as well. You’d break him if you gave in.”

“Hope is an amazing thing. I only hope you can learn obedience so we can share more moments like this one.” Joshua smiled softly and leaned down to kiss Ronan on the forehead. “My dear Ronan.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Urara Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe

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❝The forest that once was green, was colored black by those killing machines.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE799F ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFC469

|| Dirty Paws || Of Monsters and Men ||




Reyna didn't believe Urara, there was no way a mutt like her could possibly be pretty. "Mistress Urara, I've brought someone you can-erm groom your new friend." Reyna looked at the man with narrowed eyes, "Reyna can groom herself." She replied and the man knelt down, his expression stern. "Mistress Urara cannot align herself with strays, so unless you'd like to be escorted to New Pre's border?" Reyna huffed her cheeks out, her ears twitching in an absolutely adorable manner. "Fine, but only because Reyna wants to stay with Urara." She turned to Ura then, "Reyna thinks Mr. Mittens would like that." She climbed out of the hot springs, nodding her head at what Urara said. "Yes, Reyna is very hungry. She wants to see Master's home too." Someone presented her with a towel. Reyna growled and hissed, the man dropped the towel and ran screaming.

Threat contained. Reyna nudged it with her nose to ensure that the towel was not still alive before wrapping herself in it. The man returned then, telling Reyna to follow him. "Reyna will see Master soon, okay? So don't get mad Master." She followed along after the man, sitting in a chair in front of a mirror. The girl blinked, hardly recognizing her reflection. "Hmm, it seems Mistress Urara did a job well done on the first layer of your filth." He ran a hand on her skin and criticized it. "That's Reyna's dirt!" She snapped and the man shook his head. He put his clipboard down and clapped his hands, two woman dressed in some sort of fancy robes and giggling to one another coming out.

Reyna received what was probably the most intense scrubbing of her life. She attempted to bite, but the man tapped her nose, telling her it was bad. So Reyna settled for growling whenever they pulled through a large knot with the comb. "This won't do, we'll have to cut it." It was hard to sit still while they took off a large bunch of hair. Rather than Rapunzel length, it was now tamed to midback, pulled up into twin tails. They trimmed the fur around her ears and tail, catching any stray hairs and dead ends. Finally, they somehow managed to get Reyna to put on clothing.

She was wearing actual underwear with a pair of shorts and a weird dress with slits on either side with a belt around the middle. The offer of shoes was quickly rejected and the final touch was put on, a collar with a belt, so that the Mistress could find her wherever she went. As soon as she was allowed to, Reyna jumped off the chair and ran back to Urara, following her scent. The weird man with the clipboard followed. "Mister says that Master is Mistress, Reyna is confused." The girl sat beside Urara, scratching her hair with her back leg. "Was Reyna good girl? Can Reyna have food now?"


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❝I am not your toy.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#3299CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #EE6363

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




The sun touched him for only a moment and yet its warmth lasted an eternity. As the heavy metal doors closed, sealing his fate, Ronan's hand slowly fell back to his side, the smile fading. He was filled with uncertainty and question, unable to gather his thoughts as they flitted about in his mind, drifting like pieces of paper on a stormy ocean. Finally the elevator doors parted once more to reveal a forest of black and white with gray in between. It seemed that Joshua White was aptly named as he appeared to have an infatuation with the color white. Perhaps that was an alias though, Ronan wasn't sure. He spotted the bed and realized how tired he was, but he was not going to sleep it seemed, instead he was being wheeled to the bathroom.

If Ronan could've, he would have run straight for the window, the fall from this height would've crushed his lungs before he hit the ground in crushing death, but he was aiming for the closest building. If he had enough of a running start then maybe.... He pictured himself getting out of the chair, launching himself through the glass, his hands barely grasping the ledge of the next building over. His thoughts were interrupted when he was suddenly lifted, the blanket falling off of his shoulders and back into the wheelchair. For a moment Ronan was confused, startled back into reality while the sedative continued to pump through his blood, not allowing Ronan to coordinate his thoughts or limbs.

"I can move myself," He slurred, his jaw feeling weirdly loose. He was moved to the stool and Joshua began scrubbing him down. It felt weird and Ronan became distinctly uncomfortable. He wanted to tell him to stop, but somehow it came out as "Thought." Merely a mumble, going unheard in the large room. He blinked, shaking his head. White picked him up, throwing Ronan's arms over his shoulders and taking off the horrendously stained boxers. Even in the sedated daze his cheeks turned bright pink. It was very uncomfortable, actually. Especially when White took his shirt off.

His touch was gentle, a drastic change from the man White was in the basement. He gasped and took an intake of breath in pain when he got too close to the wound. He let it out in a hiss, unable to relax with White's hands all over him. Why was he acting so tender as though he cared? Ronan didn't understand. He also didn't like being completely exposed in front of this man. Ronan was then transferred to the bath, where his scalp was thoroughly massaged with something flowery smelling.

White called him precious, saying that he treasured him like his other pet Mouse. This did nothing to quell the fire in Ronan's stomach. He wanted this to stop, but his mouth felt so heavy and instead he ended up biting down on his lip to keep from insulting Joshua. The man leaned down, kissing Ronan on the forehead. A chill ran up his spine. Why was he acting like this? Was this some sort of act to win him over?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe Character Portrait: Xianata Character Portrait: Tommy Blackwheat

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Joshua rinsed Ronan’s hair and Mouse returned with a bundle of black towels which he placed on the stool before leaving. He bowed gently and spoke in a very quiet voice. “The food is finished, Sir.”

“Good, go rest.” Joshua ordered simply. He stood and went to the door. “You, take a little time to reflect and enjoy your bath. That foam soap had some calming oils that should help ease the pain in your wounds some. Enjoy it for now and I will show you your room.”

With that he left the room and Ronan with his thoughts, the warm foamy water and the soft dripping sounds of the faucet. The door wasn’t locked and Ronan was completely unbound. Only the sedatives in his system and the pain in his body kept him there, and no one had thought to bar the window.


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Thomas leaned casually on the cocktail table, causing it to wobble. “You’ve got a lot of questions don’t you little one. Tell you what, I’ll explain everything if you can take this confused little bird to some water. My pipes are parched.”

“Ah…. right…. pants. Should probably put those on too.” He grabbed his pants and pilot cap and hurried out of a side door, gesturing for Xia to follow him, pausing just outside to tug them on. “Just how old are you sweetling? Someone like you shouldn’t be in this corner of town. Bad people can be lurking in the shadows….and stuff. That’s why the cops were around. Trying to find the bad people partying too much.” [/color]

Tom chuckled at the concept of being considered a ‘bad guy’ locked up for partying too much. “Wait a minute you can fly as well? You don’t look like you have wings.”

As Tom spoke his own wings fluttered and flexed stretching as if they’d been made stiff from lying around. He stretched his shoulders. “How about we go for a fly then? You got someplace with some nice water and a pill for headaches? A house or something?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe Character Portrait: Xianata Character Portrait: Tommy Blackwheat

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Joshua returned just as the heat of the water started to ebb away. He was in casual clothes for once, a loose button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a pair of faded jeans and he carried a box filled with gauze, bindings, and tape. He got Ronan out of the bath and sat him on the stool once more to wrap him in one towel and dab him dry with the other. It seemed Ronan was lucky this time Joshua showed no interest in molesting him. He only took the time to make sure all of his wounds were clean and that he hadn’t missed a spot during the cleaning.

“As a hunter of demons I assume you know how to fight pretty well.” He said calmly dabbing the towel over Ronan’s wounds being careful not to tear them open. He dried Ronan’s hair and smiled at him, charismatically marveling at Ronan’s looks again. He caught a good one. “Eventually I intend to train you my own way. No one fights better than my force at hand to hand combat, it’s why you couldn’t touch me in that cage you know. If you had a gun no doubt you’d have shot me dead in no time. I’ll have you train with my strongest berserker eventually. You’d do good to absorb everything he has to teach you. Who knows you might actually get a hit in next time we fight.”


Joshua went on to patch Ronan up taping gauze over the biggest wounds that were still leaking blood. He treated the gauze patches with medicinal creams that would double and make sure the blood didn’t stick to the bindings. When as much of him was protected against stray dirt and infection as he could manage he wrapped bindings around his torso, arms and parts of his legs. It would have been a little tight but not impossible to breathe and the compression would have soothed some of the pain as long as he didn’t move too much. Joshua helped Ronan to the wheelchair this time urging him to use his own strength to stand and he wheeled him along to what would be his room as long as he had the wisdom to obey. The first thing Ronan would notice was the bed. It looked like something you’d find at a nice hotel. Thick soft mattress with enough sheets and blankets to ensure warmth even on the coldest of nights. There were four pillows, two of which were stuffed with feathers while the others were your regular cotton. He had a desk with writing utensils and a notebook and a metal lamp with directional lighting. It seemed to be one of those flexible ones you could twist into whatever shape is convenient for positioning. There was no computer and no phone or communicator in any way just a shelf full of books. It seemed to be made up of classical novels from all the known genres, and a book of maps. There was a giant dresser cabinet full of clothes roughly Ronan’s size all with varying formality in design and in a general sense, plain.

Josh brought Ronan next to the bed and crouched beneath it to pull out a long trailing chain. This chain was at least twice the length of the one that had kept him in the cage and a quite a bit heavier and it seemed this one would serve the same purpose. He attached it to Ronan’s collar and smiled. “You’re free to make this room your own. I’ve got cameras and sensors to keep an eye on you, even had to invest in a heartrate monitor thanks to your incessant desire to kill yourself. Mouse will be the one to feed you and if you learn civility we can carry on to your training and be done with this obedience crap. If you attempt suicide again I’m going to lop off a piece of you and throw you on the rack. You will not succeed. Let Mouse be your model for how bad shit can get for you if you don’t learn quickly.”


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Thomas’ crow cawed appreciatively, fluttering its wings as it settled on Xia’s wrist. “Hahah look at that he likes you. Usually he just pecks people till they give him what he wants. Did you really summon all that?”

The crow shook its head and wet its beak in the cup splashing the water like a songbird in a bird bath. Thomas grinned warmly and thrust a hand out to shake. “Thomas H Blackwheat at your service. You can call me Tom, Thomas, but never call me Tommy. Bandit, future pirate, and excellent party guest. Let’s see this fantastic secret place of yours”

Tom stepped back and expanded his wings to full span. They reached out from his back and thrust down once, twice, three times before he started to take off. “Come on! Let’s see how fast you can be!” He crossed his arms daringly and winked down at her before tilting his wings and riding the current forward. In a few more thrusts he soared across the sky. His crow called out loudly and took off after him.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Urara Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe

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❝The forest that once was green, was colored black by those killing machines.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE799F ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFC469

|| Dirty Paws || Of Monsters and Men ||




Reyna fell asleep believing it was a dream, that there was no way someone could actually want her around, in their city in no less. When she awoke in a large bed, alone, Reyna was terribly confused. She sat up, the blanket falling off of her. Reyna jumped from the bed and onto the ground, she had to use the bathroom, but she had a rule of not going in the living space. Thankfully, the same man from yesterday with the clipboard entered. "Follow me," he instructed, taking Reyna to the bathroom. "You can't stay!" She pushed him out and closed the door. Thankfully, she remembered how to use the toilet.

When Reyna finished, the man returned, fixing Reyna with a look. The same girls from yesterday came and attacked, brushing her hair, teeth, and forcing her into a new set of clothes. When it was over she was given a scritch behind the ears, even though she had bit one of the girl's dresses and managed to tear off the sleeve. "Is Reyna a good girl?" She asked and the man with the clipboard nodded his head. "Yes, now come with me if you'd like to eat." Reyna followed after him, but he stopped. "Two legs," Reyna growled, "baby steps." She followed along after him, her tail swishing in delight as they reached the dining room. "Where is master Ura?" Reyna asked, seeing as how she wasn't there.

"The Mistress has much work she has to attend to and you'll just serve as a distraction. You're free to run around town as you please until then," food was set in front of her. There were eggs, bacon, buttered rolls, freshly squeezed juice. "Can Reyna eat this?" She asked, thoroughly confused by the strange looking offering. The man nodded his head and Reyna looked down, then gobbled it up, wolfing the food down. He frowned and Reyna could tell he was criticizing her. He sighed and shook his head, "The Mistress has quite a strange taste in pets." He put his clipboard down, picking up a napkin and wiping around Reyna's mouth. The beast growled, she didn't like it when others touched her, but he scritched behind her ears, finishing up and picking his clipboard up. "Can Reyna find Master?" The girl asked, tail swishing but the man shook his head. "Mistress Urara is very busy, later." Reyna frowned, getting off of the chair and going to explore the halls, ending up in the room they had called her's. She knelt in front of the pile of stuffed animals, yipping and running around to the other wall and back.

"Oh yes, Reyna has so many new friends." She lay on her back, feet in the air, rubbing her back against the carpet. "What should Reyna name you all?" She sat on her hind, tail swishing. "Bunbun, Beary, Roar," Once she was satisfied, Reyna jumped onto the bed, circling a few times and sitting. She could wait here for Master, surely Urara would appear soon and call her a good girl. What if Urara was dead? What if she had woken up and someone took her? Suddenly panicked, Reyna jumped off of the bed and put her nose to the ground, tail up as she looked for her Master.

Out the door, down the hall, around the corner, and there! Reyna scratched at the door, sitting on her knees as she waited. No one came. She scratched again, growling. Finally, the door opened and a man glared at her. Reyna pushed past him and ran up to Urara. "Oh good Master! Reyna is so glad Master isn't dead!" She plopped down by Urara's side, rubbing her side against Urara's legs in affection. The fox was glad to see Urara in one piece, this strange man hadn't hurt her, it seemed.


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❝I am not your toy.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#3299CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #EE6363

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




The pain ebbed away as he sat still in the tub, the water slowly going cold. Joshua White returned, helping Ronan from the bath. His thoughts became more organized, his limbs more his own. He hated his sudden dependence on this man to move him and the very action of standing, of putting weight on his legs caused agonizing pain. When he finally reached the stool he was panting, breathing hard from the effort of moving with such a wound. Joshua continued to tending to him, drying Ronan off and dabbing around the wound with a towel. He finished it off with by wrapping Ronan's torso in bandages in such a way that made him gasp in pain once more. He said something about training, mentioning how Ronan was a demon hunter. That's right, it was Ronan's job to kill men like this. "You've got quite the bounty over your head." Ronan managed to slur, "I'd be rich if I killed you now." He could hardly move though and any move he would try to make would be clumsy, it wouldn't even be worth it.

White mentioned training him, did he think Ronan was a dog? Sit, stay, bark, those were all the commands he would try to instill in him, wouldn't he? There was no way Ronan was going to be brainwashed by a man like this. Joshua White could continue cutting into his flesh, tearing him limb from limb, Ronan would never listen, he would never allow his body and mind to become the tool of a corrupt emperor. "I'll never obey you," his senses were his once more.

Then he was moved again to the wheelchair, nakedly wheeled down the hall to a room. Joshua was talking to him, but it was hard to remember to breathe much less hear what this guy was saying. They arrived at a room that made Ronan blink twice; no more cages? There was still a chain of course, this one longer and heavier. It was connected to the collar he was wearing and he glared, he was explaining that there were cameras to watch him and suddenly Ronan was very self conscious of his nudity, even worse, remembering how he had simply let White take off his boxers. He looked away, not wanting the Emperor to see his vulnerability.

He warned him to not try to kill himself, to use Mouse as a model for what would happen if he did. "You son of a bitch you hurt an innocent kid that just wanted so save himself from the likes of you!" It wasn't a question, it was a growl. He tried to lunge, but ended up staggering and falling pathetically to the ground, he groaned, his stomach not liking that action. By the time Ronan managed to get back to his feet, White was gone. Ronan limped to the closet, grabbing out a new pair of boxers and pulling them on. He sat the desk, the chain weighing him down. Ronan flipped the empty journal open, starting from a page in the middle in case someone tried to look in it, not exactly foolproof, but enough that they wouldn't think he was doing anything.

I will never become his pawn.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe

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Joshua left Ronan in his new room and his gaze became sullen and distant.

"You son of a bitch you hurt an innocent kid that just wanted so save himself from the likes of you!"


He had been desperate. His mind on the brink of shattering from the pull of Josh’s mind tricks and the pain of what he’d done to him. It had become a regular thing, him lumbering into the bedroom while Mouse had been tied down. Forcing himself on him painfully and ruthlessly as he caressed Mouse’s small trembling frame with gentle hands. Those hands. Joshua looked down at his hands remembering how the pills fell between his fingers feeling them hit the mattress like bullet casings. Mouse had been curled up on the bed, gaze distant and faded as his lashes laced gracefully. He hadn’t been breathing. Josh could tell that at a glance and by the way the light on his collar blinked wildly sending a signal to the communicator in his pocket. His mind turned off at that point. He’d lifted mouse, and marveled distantly at how light he was. Had he always been so easy to carry? Did he always fit in his arms so perfectly. He’ll never forget the way his head lolled limply, his lip quivering slightly as his body made efforts to figure out what to do with all the chemicals set in his stomach. Dissolving like a fuse to a toxic bomb. Joshua set him in the bath and stuck two fingers in the boy’s throat, growling for him to throw up, to get it all up.

“Come on. Come on, Mouse. Get it out!” His mind was white, his hands shaking so badly he half wondered if he was having a fit or a seizure.

Mouse’s body responded in the end and a torrent of pills left his body. Vomit was everywhere but Mouse stirred, trembling and coughing. Joshua held Mouse close to him, holding him uncaring of the bile stains that covered his shirt.

“I see. I see now. The world is poisoning you. I understand. I’ll fix it. I’ll make it so you’ll never have to see what pains you ever again. I’ll make it right Mouse. I won’t let it hurt you. It keeps making you think these things, the outside world. Freedom is hurting you and giving you awful ideas of escape.”

Joshua barely gave mouse the opportunity to ingest what had happened or where he was. He opened the medicine cabinet and grabbed a pair of scissors meant to cut bandaging and took Mouse by the hair. “I’ll make it so you can’t see that painful hope again. You’ll be happy with me I swear it. You’ll thank me in time.”

With that he dug the scissors into Mouse’s eyes, disregarding his desperate screams, his wishes for death and mercy. Mouse’s mind broke and broke again as Josh twisted and wrenched each eye out and cut the nerve.

Josh snapped out of his revere as Mouse appeared in the doorway to the kitchen. He didn’t face him but Josh could tell he was watching with his ears, listening and waiting for something. He turned and disappeared back into the kitchen and Josh turned and went to the bedroom. He didn’t feel much in the mood to call Mouse to entertain him at the moment. There was a sickness in his stomach that killed any hope of physical excitement. A confusion like a knot of wires danced at the edge of his mind. Just out of reach of his comprehension. It whispered questions to him. Questions he knew that if he considered would rub away at his stone. The stone of his security and his sanity. Why did Mouse want to die so badly? Why can’t he make Mouse smile? Why does Ronan fight so hard? He fights more than any other slave he owns. Isn’t it their nature to follow? Wasn’t he destined to be in control?

“AAAAAGH!” Joshua lost his temper quick and without warning. He shoved a decorative table with a vase with such ferocity the vase shattered and the table broke. He cried out and snarled in anguish stomping on the wooden legs till each snapped and took the remains and smashed them on the floor with all his strength. ‘Fucking Ronan. He’s nothing but a centipede, and I’m going to turn him into a worm by plucking each and every leg off one by one. How dare he?!’

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Urara Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe Character Portrait: Isamu Koizumi

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❝The forest that once was green, was colored black by those killing machines.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE799F ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFC469

|| Dirty Paws || Of Monsters and Men ||




Reyna was incredibly happy that Urara was not dead. Ura wasn't doing well though, she was chained up, unable to move aside from being able to sign the occasional paper that came her way. "Reyna will save Master!" The fox sat up, biting into the metal cuffs. Something whacked her on the head and she fell back, head spinning. She growled at the man who had assaulted her with a bundled up paper. "Reyna will protect Ura," she growled, biting the Minister's pants. His expression became amused, he kicked Reyna away, continuing his lecture on sticks. Sticks weren't good for much, except maybe building shelters and using as slingshots and yet these humans seemed to fear them. Maybe they were running out of sticks? That would be troublesome.

Reyna circled Urara's chair, wondering how she could get Master out. She went on twos, then fours, then sat on her hind near Urara's legs, tail swishing in thought. The Minister continued his lecture, not seeming to mind the fox plotting their leader's escape. She was momentarily distracted by the passing of secretary scritching behind her ears but once the woman was gone Reyna was back in action. She bit into the cuffs again, the metal tasting terrible and hurting her teeth but Reyna gnawed, careful not to hurt Master's hands. The Minister noticed, whacking Reyna on the head again. Her ears twitched, she growled and he kicked her away. "No," he said before composing himself and mentioning something about trade and commerce.

"Reyna will not let Master Urara die." She yipped, causing the few other people in the room to chuckle. The Minister gave her a curious look and stepped forward, reaching out. Reyna growled, fully prepared to bite but the Minister scratched her behind the ears. She became a pile of purrs and wriggling in pleasure, her tail swishing as he continued speaking. It took a bit for Reyna to realize what he was doing, it was hard to come out of it though. Finally, Reyna extracted herself from underneath his hand and went back to Urara, this time biting through one of the cuffs she had been working on. Now that she was determined it didn't take that much long for the others. Reyna stood on twos, grabbing Urara's wrist and running through the door. Once they were out, she went back on fours. "Hurry Master!"

They went out the door, Reyna ran down the steps, looking back to make sure that Urara was coming. She tripped, tumbling over something, or rather, someone, her tail somehow becoming tangled in his belt. "Reyna is trapped! Run Master! Reyna will protect you!" She couldn't move much, it hurt her tail to try and wriggle out of the trap.


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❝I am not your toy.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#3299CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #EE6363

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




Pain was bittersweet. It freed his mind, guided his actions as he scribbled furiously about everything from the color of the sky that day to what had happened that had led him to this point. His words were vivid, painting bright pictures of everything that had happened. His mind was his once more and he'd take every opportunity to ensure it was all recorded. Someday, someone would read this and they would know the truth. That White City was built on the foundation of Joshua White enslaving those who were unsuspecting of his ways. Innocent Mouse, Ronan thought of him a lot. He described the condition the boy was in, the way he hid beneath the blind fold like a shield to hide himself against sights he could never, would never see again. There were noises coming from the other room, it almost sounded like a scuffle, but Ronan didn't react. Probably that idiot ruling throwing a temper tantrum.

His hand hurt from writing, his head was spinning and his breathing shallow. Ronan groaned as he stood, straightening. He managed to get to the bed before collapsing, curling up in a pile of pain. When it passed he slowly lay on his back, staring up at the ceiling. He debated sleep, knowing it would bring on nightmares, endless images of his family's death. Ronan was tired though, physically and mentally exhausted from a day of torture. The bed was soft, inviting, the sheets a welcome vacation from hard cell floors and bloody knives. Ronan shivered, remembering the feel of being butchered alive beneath a blade that cut beneath his skin like butter. The bandages were tight, somehow alleviating a bit of the pain, but not giving him much room to breathe.

Ronan eventually went beneath the blanket, he had turned the light off sometimes between staring into space but Ronan couldn't remember when. He couldn't sleep knowing someone was watching his every move, looking for the rise and fall of his chest, of any sign of life. What if he held his breath? Would someone be alerted? He was tempted to test out the limits of this system, but Ronan had been through enough torture tonight, besides, he wanted to keep his eyes, he'd need them if he wanted to continue writing. Death could come later, for now, Ronan needed to tell someone somehow. If there was someway to contact one of the other rulers, tell them what was going on, then maybe he had a chance. He could prevent other innocents from falling into White's clutches, stop the slave trade.

Unless they were in on it too. The thought made his blood boil, the fact that these rulers who had promised to protect their people would snatch up unsuspecting children and train them for a lifetime of servitude. Ronan's hands clenched into fists, sending ripples of pain through his body that made him stop. Shouldn't the pain fade already? He thought back to the bath with the pain killers in it, then before that. His spine tingled, cheeks turning bright red. White could have taken advantage of him in his drug addled daze and yet he had been weirdly gentle, wrapping Ronan's wounds up as though he actually cared. Ronan touched the bite on his shoulder; there would be a permanent mark there, which is probably what the lunatic wanted, some sort of mark as proof of property. "Tch, stupid man" he muttered, wrapping the blanket tighter around him.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Urara Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe Character Portrait: Isamu Koizumi

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❝The forest that once was green, was colored black by those killing machines.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE799F ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFC469

|| Dirty Paws || Of Monsters and Men ||




Urara didn't leave Reyna, she untangled the fox's tail from the man's belt and shot them into the desert, only, the man came with them. When they stopped and the oasis wasn't there, Reyna's expression fell. "What if Mittens doesn't want Reyna to visit?" She asked, turning to Urara in distress. In truth the oasis would only reveal itself to those who were alone and wandering without aim. Her tail drooped as she sat beside Urara, looking out at the ocean of sand that rose and dipped in waves disappearing on all sides. "What if Mittens is mad at Reyna!" The fox worried, looking up at Urara. Suddenly she got mad and Reyna paced the space in front of Urara. "Reyna doesn't need Mittens, Reyna has Master." She rubbed up against Urara's legs lovingly, her ears twitching as she heard something.

Urara turned and Reyna looked after, seeing the man who had been stuck on her tail. Reyna hissed, jumping between the two defensively. "Reyna will protect Master Ura," she hissed at the figure on the floor. He was dirty, his white hair close to a sad brown, odd clothing decorating his body. Was he a demon? Is that how he had followed them? Reyna noticed the man wasn't moving, he was as still as a corpse. "Reyna thinks the stranger is dead." She sniffed him, her nose wrinkling at the terrible smell that came off of him. He certainly smelled like a dead body.


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❝I am not your toy.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#3299CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #EE6363

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




Ronan clambered back onto the bed, pulling the blanket over him. Sleep came easy then, a sort of drifting that made him feel almost as though he were flying. How nice that would have been, to sprout wings and break through the window, untouchable, uncatchable, just him and the wind, causing his eyes to tear up, rifling through his blonde hair. Yes that would have been glorious. Perhaps that's what Wesley did now that he was an angel, zipping between clouds, hugging the land with the curvature of his tiny body that would never grow old. When Ronan finally awoke the next morning, he felt rested. It was odd being able to sleep in, having no bags underneath his eyes. His stomach growled, but Ronan had a feeling he wouldn't be getting any food. A body could go about a month without food and three days without water.

He rolled out of bed, the wounds still hurting. Ronan set at the desk chair, opening up the notebook. He would not get dressed, not touch anything except the essentials. He wrote in code, making it seem as though he were just logging a dream rather than formulating a plan to get the word out about White and then kill himself so he wouldn't have to serve under this man. Ronan would rather die than become like Mouse, so weak willed that the very thought of betraying White made him break down. Ronan's hand clenched into a fist, the pencil snapping in half. He cursed, sharpening both ends to make it into two new pencils. There was no time to erase, he would scratch out words, writing down every thought that crossed his mind.

He had a fierceness like fire, a ferocity that seemed to swallow one whole. How do people follow his commands? Does Joshua White have some sort of manipulating power? Is he a demon too? And why does he allow his citizens to live so peacefully and yet tortures the slaves in his own home? A hypocrite, that's what this demon is. He is the worst kind of scum, taking innocent lives, breaking innocent children. I will not bend to his will, I will not become another puppet for him to master until the threads ware and break.

Ronan's eyes turned red as he wrote, his breathing became labored as pain filled his body. It was becoming unbearable, the last of the pain medicine from the bath wearing off. The pencil broke once more in his hand and Ronan doubled over, clutching his stomach. He could feel a heave and scrambled out of the chair to lean over the wastebasket, bile rising from his stomach. He lay on the ground, writhing in pain and discomfort. He bit down on his tongue to keep from crying out. Ronan would not show weakness, he was strong, he could take this. Dots danced in his vision, a tune weaving in and out of his mind. He panted, tugging at the collar around his neck as though he couldn't breathe, trying anything to get air into his lungs.