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Setting

The warn path continues through an ever colder air still, the pine trees surrounding the area are frozen to the core.
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The Frozen Pines

The warn path continues through an ever colder air still, the pine trees surrounding the area are frozen to the core.

Minimap

The Frozen Pines is a part of The Cold Plains.

34 Characters Here

Denai Demitri [35] The not-so-wicked witch.
Michael Beecham [14] A wandering sixteen year old boy known as The Charmer
Roth Ushiro [10] A teenage ronin out to make a name for himself.
Roth [8] A teenage Ronin out to make a name for himself.
Aliana Talion [7] Ice that holds a fury and a flame that few can withstand.
Stabby/ Chop Chop [5] Don't give him a Knife
Khalek [4] A young trouble maker of an elf who thought it was a good idea to make a demonic pact to gain mastery over the dark arts and undeath.[Under Construction]
Alfred Thamesley [1] It's like he wasn't even there

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2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sir Edward Mitchell Character Portrait: Aislynn DeSange
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She shook her head slightly, though whether it was at his question or his statement was uncertain. His arm is soon trapped by both of her own as she folds them over it, pinning the limb as though afraid he would vanish into the encroaching darkness. Contact, real, human contact did much to calm her mind, to shuffle what she felt in her own body to the fore, and push back the whispers and remembered sensations that belong to them. It had taken two nights for her to shake the grunts and moans that had invaded her mind from the corner of the shack. So long past, the shapes themselves had been indistinct, just an echo of a moment, of a passionate embrace returning like the tide...

Green eyes blink and glance around the cabin, her lips twisting in unhappiness at the thought. She almost speaks it, almost tells Edward that she does not want to go, despite the spartan nature of their abode. She was safe, and dry, and protected... she wasn't alone, and it had been so long... And each time they changed, she worried. Worried if this time would guide the bullet that would kill him, or hurt him enough that They could make use of it. A distracted mind was wide open, and pain was an effective, if unsubtle, door into the human psyche. She glances down, drawing a thumb over the hair that covered his arm, watching the simple motion as it sprang back into it's natural pattern, pretending her mind wasn't showing her exactly what that would look like. She'd seen Edward kill before, but he'd never turned that gaze upon her... and she dreaded the day it would occur with enough force it became almost a phobia.

Eventually, however, she does speak, relaying a gentle whisper behind her ear. "West. Small town, four days maybe?"

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Character Portrait: Sir Edward Mitchell Character Portrait: Aislynn DeSange
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He shivered a little at her touch, her wide-eyed gaze still a little unnerving even after all they'd been through together. Edward couldn't shake the primaeval response to push away from the girl, disperse the thoughts that she knew exactly how he was going to die. That she might be unconsciously steering him towards it. Shaking his head, he pulled her against his chest, burying his face in her hair.

“Somewhere quiet where we can hole up?” His voice was light, straining to ease her in to the change which she hated so much. “The last place didn't like us too much.” That brought an involuntary chuckle up from somewhere in his belly, spilling out to echo around the bunker. His ribs still ached from the blow he'd been unable to check, the cylindrical bruise caused by the bat's impact refusing to fade.

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Character Portrait: Sir Edward Mitchell Character Portrait: Aislynn DeSange
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She shook her head slightly, her fingers tightening around the flesh of his arm at the laugh and the comment. It is a wince of guilt. She'd left him there, for them... Hidden, and watched, as they'd beaten the man who had given much to protect her, she had raised nothing... not her voice, nor her hand, nor her power. They were close. They would have seen. For once the whispers did more to calm than to harass, but it does not stop her worrying at her lip with her teeth, adding; "Sorry." Yet again, though the 'crime' as she'd seen it, was long forgiven. His beating would have been far worse if she'd shown herself, if the Other had found her. Then he would have been a target. An example. She shudders at the thought, one hand shifting from his forearm to his shoulder, supporting his move closer. "Sorry."

She allows them a moment of quiet, as she listens intently to the things unheard and finally says; "There are cars there. We'll drive." As though it was that simple. As though Aislynn's slightness of figure did not lead locals into thinking that either he'd taken himself a particularly frail piece of ass, or that his taste ran far... younger. It was a trait that had served her well alone, and yet now seemed to end them in as much trouble as it had ever saved her. She takes another, deeper breath, drinking in the scents and sounds of their familiar hideaway. "Go west."

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Character Portrait: Sir Edward Mitchell Character Portrait: Aislynn DeSange
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Edward winced a little as her jagged nails dug into his arm, prompting him to squeeze her gently, enfolding her in his embrace. “Don't worry about me, I can take a few knocks.” In truth, he'd taken more than a few over the past few months, but nothing particularly serious. He was experienced enough to know that eventually it would catch up with him. The tightness under his arm could limit blocking downward blows, the pulled muscles in his legs made him slower. He'd make a mistake soon. All he could do was make sure Aislynn got clear before he did.

“Works for me.” Out here, taking a vehicle wouldn't be too difficult and if their pursuers were already in the mountains, getting out onto the tundra below the heights faster would benefit them in the long run. He wondered how much of the arsenal he'd accrued they should take. It'd be a long hike, and the weapons would weigh them down considerably, but he was loathe to leave them behind. The enemy was already better armed and equipped, but the rugged survivability of the large calibre battle rifles had served them well.

Finally, his mind settled on a solution. “We'll lash a sled together and cache the stuff on the outskirts until we can find a truck. Give us a place to fall back to if we're discovered.”

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Character Portrait: Sir Edward Mitchell Character Portrait: Aislynn DeSange
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Aislynn worms her way towards her protector, tucking her head almost underneath his chin, until she felt all but hidden from the world outside. She hated it. The thought of another trek through the wilderness, another set of nights cold and frightened, another round of angry men... it was enough to tempt hot, angry tears to her eyes at the injustice of it all. Not a child any longer, but so twisted and lost at the hands of the organisation that she was left quivering and frightened in the face of what was to come.

Weak They hiss at her. Could have been strong, but chose this. Chose running and hiding, lying... could have been dancing with kings... She turns her head more steadfastly towards Edward's chest at the whispers, as though his mass, his flesh, his living heartbeat could drown out the voices of those who had come before. Who would come after. She hears herself murmur something about the sled, some agreement falling from her lips before she drew silent. She felt cold, and afraid, and deathly weary.

"Could leave me there." She says, eventually, though she knows that he is unlikely to respond this time any differently than he has the multitude before. "Two cars, two directions. Could run." She lifts her head enough to offer what she hopes is a smile. "Wouldn't blame you. None would."

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Character Portrait: Sir Edward Mitchell Character Portrait: Aislynn DeSange
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Gently Edward inclined his head downward and lightly kissed her forehead, gathering her further into his embrace. “You know I'd never leave.” It was a conversation they'd visited many times before. Every time they came to a difficult decision, Aislynn would look at him, eyes full of sadness as she waited for him to announce his departure, to turn his back on her and disappear into the night. He knew by now that there was very little he could do to convince her otherwise, but eventually the moment would pass and things would return to whatever passed to normality between them.

Disturbing the furs with his free hand, he glanced at the battered watch cinched to his wrist. “We should get some rest if we want to move in the morning.” Much like his companion, he was loathe to give up the safety of the bunker. They had shelter and a good supply of food close at hand, along with a defensible position should they come under attack. But he knew by now that nothing could hold the pursuers for long. He often wondered if Aislynn could, but he didn't want to risk pushing her deeper into the trauma that often blanketed her mind.

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Aislynn would nod at that, and do little more than tilt her head to get comfortable before closing her eyes and allowing the weariness to overcome her. She always seemed to be tired now, as though the months, longer, of living alone and in fear had used up energy she was still working to replenish. The sleep would come more easily now, true, but even the presence of another living person so close did little to stifle the nightmares. Through the night to come she would moan, and twitch, often falling back into still slumber when her movement collided with some part of his body, reminding her, even subconsciously, of what was real.

It was a scream that woke her... wasn't it? Or a balloon popping? Or both? She is dazed and confused, when she is suddenly grabbed by strong, rough hands and shaken into wakefulness with a force she had not felt since Edward had attached himself to her side. She brings up her hands, trying to brace herself on hands that were not there, gasping out "Stop!" as she does so. Her hands meet with nothing, and she gets another angry, violent shake for her trouble before she is dropped, dazed and confused back to the makeshift bed.


They are here! The words rip through her mind with no attempt at subtlety and suddenly she is pulling herself to her feet, her hand reaching to shake Edward as though her own violent movements - of her own volition or not- would not have woken him. She can hear her fear in her voice even though she whispers. "Now! We go now!" She glances back at him, even as she stuffs her feet into her shoes. "Edward please!"

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Years of campaigning had left the former spy an incredibly light sleeper, and since this wretched pursuit had begun, it wouldn't take much more than a whimper from his charge to rouse him into wakefulness. As she jerked around under the furs, he bounded to his feet eyes darting around the shadowy bunker. The fire had burned low and the room was full of leaping shadows, each one rearing ready to strike.

Dispelling the last vestiges of sleep from his mind, he grabbed Aislynn's shoulder meeting her frightened gaze. “How close?” There was no time to reassure her, or to placate her fears. Now was the time for action. His traps would stop a large force, so it would be a small group of specialists. Easy enough to evade if they were quick.

He darted over to the rack of weaponry, slinging one of the rifles over his shoulder. Snatching up a webbing belt loaded down with bulky magazines, he turned back to the girl. “Grab your stuff and get down the tunnel. I'll be right behind you.”

Whoever had designed the bunker had realized that the single exit point would be easy to bracket, preventing escape, so they'd installed a narrow passage, little more than a sewer that led away from the fortification, deep into the forest. Hopefully it would give them a chance to make some ground on their pursuers.

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Character Portrait: Sir Edward Mitchell Character Portrait: Aislynn DeSange
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She blinked at him as he grabbed her shoulder, as though struggling to differentiate his face from the ones suddenly swarming round her. She shook her head, gasping as she attempted to find an answer, ending only in a short, panicked whisper. "I... no... they're everywhere, Edward." Underneath, above, around the sides, she could feel the weight pressing in on her, until it left her chest rattling like an asthmatic... still, she had not survived so long by falling to pieces in moments of crisis.

As Edward turned to the gunrack, Aislynn went entirely still, for a moment her jaw lolled as her muscles relaxed, her eyes rolling... and then it had passed. Her movements were sure, quick as she darted forward, collecting the overcoat that still held everything she held dear. Into the old rucksack by the fire she stuffed the largest of the sleeping bags, and the food she could before securing both straps over her shoulder. It was only then that she spoke again, her eyes sharp as they glanced to Edward. "Move!" The voice was authoritative, and convinced of itself and moments later it was easy to see why. The blankets and scraps that had made there bedding are tossed towards the doorway, a final one making a trip into the fireplace before her fast hands grab at one, unmolested corner and drag it to the pile. She takes the moments necessary to ensure that the fire had indeed caught before darting towards the tunnel, hoping their pursuers would miss the opening in what would soon be a dark, smoky, choking interior.

Sure hands find the knife on her way past and she only glances back to hiss "Come on." at him before nimble feet drive her into the darkness of the tunnel. She does not look back- Aislynn has concern for the man, this one does not. Survival is the name of the game, and he would be of no use if he could not do something so simple as remove himself.

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Character Portrait: Sir Edward Mitchell Character Portrait: Aislynn DeSange
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With the rifle hanging loose on the three-point sling, Edward hauled on his moth-eaten greatcoat, stuffing the pockets with more rifle ammunition and a clutch of stun grenades looted from the boot of a police car. He heard his companion's frantic motions, and the authoritative command but didn't look around. As she disappeared down the tunnel, he tossed his overloaded rucksack down after her, already packed with a decent amount of supplies and other essential survival gear, along with another handgun and a flare pistol.

Now his gear was relatively safe, along with his charge he busied himself with a nondescript green crate hidden against one wall. With an almost gleeful expression, he gingerly lifted out the last of the round anti-personnel charges. He buried them under the mound of furs, arranging the bedding to make it look like it was occupied. The act of lifting away the obscuring fabric would activate the mines, filling the bunker with ricocheting shrapnel.

This task complete, he grabbed the one remaining charge and hopped down the hole into the dank tunnel, leaving the explosive at the base of the iron runged ladder as a last surprise for any pursuer. Raising the rifle, he started down the tunnel.

“Aislynn?” His voice was little more than a whisper, conscious that their pursuers could already be in the bunker.

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Character Portrait: Sir Edward Mitchell Character Portrait: Aislynn DeSange
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Would he feel it? That cool tinge of air that blew past here... a breeze where one had no issue being. One that meant nothing to the one driving, and everything to Aislynn, who crashed back into her flesh with enough force that she bounced off one of the walls. Already she was turning herself round, sprinting full pelt back towards Edward- well aware, even as she did so, that she would be smarter running in the opposite direction.

They were looking... not for her, but for him. If he was focused, it might slide by... but she didn't understand the theories and underpinnings of what they could do... she barely understood consciously what she could call into being. How could she expect him to withstand the result. She would almost barrel into Edward before her eyes managed to find him in the darkness of the tunnel, her entire body going stiff with fright as she realised that... just as she had no way to explain what might come knocking at the great vaults of his mind, she had no way of knowing if he had opened the doors to it.

She made a small, panicked sound, and turned again, running towards the end of the tunnel, knowing that friend or foe Edward would have to follow her out into the cold night. Mentally she kicked herself, beat herself for not finding some way to warn him. He had stepped back about questioning 'what' she was, or could do, but perhaps she shouldn't have let him. She should have told him that although he had always referred to it as telekinesis, that was not it's true root... too many things she should have done... should have said... and now it is all she can do to try and outrun her companion to try and decipher by moonlight what lived within him. Himself... or them?

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Character Portrait: Sir Edward Mitchell Character Portrait: Aislynn DeSange
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The sounds of her footsteps began to echo. The echoes lengthened into the pounding of giant feet, resonating down the cracked concrete walls, spilling eddies of dust into the smoky air. Edward staggered, losing his grip on the rifle's forearm, the barrel pitching up to the tunnel roof as he fell to his knees.

He could feel it in his mind. An anathema colder than the winter wind outside. Long fingers like knives of frost questing through his psyche, searching for something. For her. He let out an anguished scream, pouring himself into it as he willed her to run. Not to hesitate at the tunnel mouth or to look back expectantly for him.

He felt the tears on his face as the tumultuous emotion rolled through him, billowing around the lances pinning his mind. On instinct his finger tightened on the trigger, unleashing a blast of gunfire , his tortured mind desperate for a way to fight back. Gaining control of his voice, he bellowed after the running figure.

“Go! Run!” He imbued every word with all the emotion he could muster. Fear. Rage. All the love he felt for the diminutive girl. Even if he died in this dark tunnel, he would make sure she made it out.

A peal of thunder rang out above him, a tongue of fire licking under the hatch as the mines detonated, incinerating whoever was unlucky enough to disturb them. The noise slackened the grip clenching around his psyche and he lurched to his feet.

Suddenly in control, he backed down the tunnel yanking the rifle into his shoulder. He resigned himself to the fact that Aislynn would have gone, and that his part of her story would end in this featureless passage. She was practised at hiding from them. He wouldn't stand a chance alone. Better to die here than have his mind flayed as he tried to find her.

Edward propped his bag up as a makeshift barricade, stacking up his ammunition in a neat pile to his left. His service pistol remained in it's holster, a second sidearm placed in a scrape on the floor ready to be used when his rifle ran dry.

A figure dropped into the tunnel, kicking aside the mine with contemptuous ease. Edward opened fire, filling the air with acrid smoke, the rifle's report deafening in the confined space. It swatted the bullets aside like darting insects ripping the rifle from Edward's grip, dashing it against the wall in a single motion.

Helpless in the face of such unfettered power, Edward turned to run, but the figure pinned him in an iron grip. Lifting him into the air, it's eyes flared in the darkness. Everything that was Edward was consumed in an instant, shut away in some tiny part of his mind, replaced with some facet of his assailant.

Something new picked itself up from the ground, shedding the encumbering greatcoat as it drew the double-edged combat blade from it's boot. It sniffed the air, an inhuman growl tearing from it's throat.

It set off into the snow, booted feet leaving no prints to reveal it's passing.

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Character Portrait: Sir Edward Mitchell Character Portrait: Aislynn DeSange
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Edward's shout does as he wishes, driving her out into the bleak snow bound forest. It hurts, somewhere deep beneath her breastbone, and the shout echoes in her ears over and over, as though replaying it will delay the moment of inevitable departure. It was impossible not to hear the echo of gunshots, the sound clear and crisp in the otherwise silent forest. And that hurt too. She almost turns, almost circles back to see... to check... but the same grip that had shaken her so violently from sleep grabbed her now, all but throwing her forwards. Run! She wants to argue, wants to say that Edward is strong, and smart. That if any could survive, he would have... Sensing her objections, the shimmer shifts, for a moment it's lines sharper against the snow. More defined. More human. Bullets wont stop them. They were all he had.

The truth of the statement makes her want to weep, to drop to the ground in that moment and sob. The lump in her throat seems too great to breathe around, but the hands that had helped her before are soon joined by others, less forceful but nonetheless insistent. It takes time for her to get her feet beneath her, to break into a true run, but when she does she is unfettered by the alien nature of her surroundings. Whispers surround her, warning her of dips and breaks, of small hillocks or deep snowbeds that might have otherwise hindered her progress. It drives her down into a cold stream with such suddenness that she gasps in pained shock. A thrown out hand and a moment of concentration sees the footprints on one side replicated on the other, disappearing into the trees, as the girl herself turns and begins to run with the stream, the water splashing, soaking her to her waist, a fact that seems beyond unimportant... At least the sound was covered, the passage of the stream around rocks and bends did much to cover the sound of her fleeing feet... But a dark part of her mind whispers that she knows Edward. She knows how good he is- how he could find her, or shelter, or supplies... He could always find what he was looking for, and while she has hidden herself from Them before, if they thought to look... to use him as she used her whispers... The thought makes her shudder, and she throws a fugitive glance behind her even as she runs.

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Character Portrait: Sir Edward Mitchell Character Portrait: Aislynn DeSange
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He thirsted. An all-consuming longing for something indefinable. An urge driving him onward through the snow in pursuit of something. While there was nothing to track, an insistent nudge in the corner of his eye would pull his head around, a mysterious scent pricking his nostrils. He loped like some exotic predator, muscles moving in ways that they hadn't been designed to.

He kept low to the ground, almost padding on all fours, the knife gripped tightly in his right hand. He was hunting.

Something emerged on his periphery. Several grey-white shapes emerging from the snow, fangs bared in lipless snarls. He snarled back, mouth contorting as a truly inhuman sound tore itself from his throat. The noise carried through the silent forest, a daemonic hunting call.

The wolves fled from the noise, raising a lipless smile from the figure slinking between the trees. Slitted pupils scoured the ground ahead. His prey had nowhere to hide.

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Was there a moments hope? There, in the cold? After so long running, featureless white landscape marred by dark, frostbitten trees, she didn't know how long had passed. Minutes? Hours? How far has she come? Perhaps Edward had managed to slow them down, or to win. Perhaps... perhaps...

And then the howl echoed through the forest. From where, Aislynn couldn't guess, but it did exactly what it was supposed to. It reached directly into the part of her brain that dealt in survival... in hunter, and hunted... and it screamed. Her body went haywire, as at once she tried to pick up the pace, to flee, and to turn around and look for the source of the noise. Boots caught in the slick stones of the stream bed, and she topples, head over heels, to crash into the water, her head bouncing from the stones beneath, the half-carried backpack throwing itself from her shoulder and beginning to make it's merry way downstream without her.

Aislynn lay sprawled, shocked by the bitter cold of the water running around her, petrified by the sound that had come over the hills to meet her. For a moment, a long moment, she wanted to curl up. To crawl to the edge of the stream, and huddle against the raised bank, and hide. She was so small, if she just hid. If she was just quiet enough, still enough, the monster would pass her by. Already the cold of the stream had numbed her pains to the point of silence. Perhaps if she just stayed here...

Get up! The voices were panicked, strained, but she ignored them. They didnt understand, they wanted to run but if she just Stayed put perhaps, perhaps the hunt would go on by. They would not be silenced, however, and rough, insubstantial hands all but hall her to her feet, where she stands momentarily dazed, swaying on her feet as though the current itself could carry her off.

South... She thinks, idly. We could go south.

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Somewhere along the way he'd lost his boots. He could feel the freezing cold water of the stream lapping against his bare feet. The thirst was growing. The prey close. He hunched lower, almost invisible in the shallow scrape cut by the channel.

An elk reared up out of the darkness and he fell on it, tearing at it with his teeth repeatedly driving the blade into the beast's torso. The blood gushed over him, soaking into his clothes, clinging to his skin. His teeth tore through the creature's tough hide, questing for the beating heart within. Heedless of the knife he prised open the ribcage with an unnatural strength, almost burying his head in the beast's chest cavity with his lust for it's flesh.

The presence swirling around his psyche let him gorge, before dragging him clear of the carcass and down the stream bed again. The blood caking his face heightened his senses, he could almost feel the beat of every heart around him.

A tiny flutter almost buried by snow. Rabbit... No... Her.

A low growl rippled from his throat. The thing in his head swelled with exultation. The hunt was almost over.

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She heard the cry of a dying thing, and turns unsteadily towards the sound. She is jostled sideways, almost shoved up the embankment, but her feet feel like lead, her whole body slow and cumbersome. Her steps seem to drag more than they had before, and as the whispers drive her towards one tree in particular, joining together to break through her mental fog as they shriek UP! .

It is enough to bring her hands to the lowest branch, to tilt her head back, to look up towards the next hold... her arms feel too heavy to lift, her fingers too thick and numb to grab at the branch, and she makes one attempt before her legs fold beneath her, dumping her unceremoniously in the snow. An idle part of her mind wonders if the dead creature knows peace, if it's life as prey had finally ended and now there was only the contented silence of slumber. The dark, wet patches of her clothes seem to attrached the snow, cloaking her in white even as she sits, her eyes dull and only watchful in the most passive sense.

They'd killed Edward.

Something in her brain twists at that, something fiercely at odds with the malaise that seemed to have swallowed her whole. A small, angry spark of fire. Of grief. Of rage. But it is a tiny spark amist the snowy landscape of her mind, and she hears the quiet, deadly stillness respond; We all die, eventually.

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Up. Climb. Kill. His vision blurred, everything excluded but the small figure desperately hauling itself into the comparative safety of the tree. His tongue licked some of the caked blood from his lips, already slavering in expectation of her soft, tender flesh.

He stalked forward, legs tensing ready to bound upwards in a relentless charge that would pluck her from the branches and dash her body on the hard-packed snow below.

His eyes focussed on her face, causing something to erupt from one of the deepest corners of his psyche. It was like he had been struck by a blunt object, lifting him from his feet and throwing him back towards the stream. Burning pain filled his mind, a volcanic tide of flame scouring his thoughts.

A voice boomed, laced with a soul-consuming anger. “You. Will. Not. Have. Her.”

The beast whimpered like a dog bereft of it's master, scrabbling around in the snow as the unnamed entity battered against its mind.

An explosive force shattered the icicles hanging from the tree's skeletal branches, a hurricane force wind plucking the beast from the ground, pinning it against the jagged bark of another tree. Icy needles speared into it, drawing a loud howl of anguish from tortured lips. The barrage eventually stopped, and the thing slumped to the ground.

The forest was deathly silent. The beast lay in a crater of rapidly melting snow, steam arcing up from its body. An audible rasp echoed through the air as it began to breathe again. Laboured by the very act of respiration, it picked itself up from the ground and started towards her refuge again, hunger visible in its eyes.

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She watched it come for her with the dull eyes of one sentenced to death. She does not run, or twitch, as though even the effort of moving that inch would end her. She had managed to make it into the lowest branches. She could go no further, hide no more. And then she heard it. The whisper that was unlike those who had attached themselves to her, or lured around this bleak mountaintop.

She knew that voice. "'Dward?" Her lips feel cold, chapped as she forces them into the word, and the spark which had stirred at the thought of his death bursts into furious life. It is not enough to bring her bounding back into combat, it cannot fill her cold, tired limbs with new life... but she doesn't need her limbs to be dangerous. She takes a deep breath, another, as the creature is beaten as though through her own power. She lets out a soft "hah" beneath her breath, a sound that is less a call of victory than of bitter amusement.

It might crawl towards her. Let it. It would get within five feet of her resting place before she would so much as bat an eyelid. The weight would come from nowhere, like an anvil from the sky, an iron net that slams down upon the warped, bloodsoaked creature pinning it to the steaming ground. That, in its broken state, took very little effort at all. It took more focus to half climb, half fall from her position, and she walks past the monstrosity as though it is no threat to her at all.

It's not.

Small, cold hands fumble with the hilt of the knife it had dropped. Edward's knife. Her eyes have more life in them when she looks back at the creature, as she walks towards it until she is within the reach of it's teeth, it's claws, and the closer she gets the greater the weight becomes that pins it to the ground. A hundred hands, given form by their fear, their hatred, her grief and loss. There were hunters here, so many had died in these woods that capturing a rabid creature took almost no coercion. They were happy to help.

She turns the knife in her hand for a long moment, first one way, and then the other, before her eyes fix on the creature. "Came here to kill me." She states, her voice flat with anger. "Still here."

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It let him see. Edward snapped awake, like a drunkard kicked from a stupor. His body was broken, twisted by unnatural motion and the great weight pressing down on him. He could feel his heart struggling to control the cocktail of naturally produced chemicals that had fuelled his headlong pursuit across the snow, and were now shutting down his vital functions.

He felt the insidious cold seeping into his bones, the tendrils of frostbite knitting around his extremities. With a great effort, he raised his head to look on her. The blade flashed in the pale moonlight. As exhaustion fogged his vision, all he could see were here eyes, filled with betrayal and anger.

“Just...” It was all he could muster. Nothing more than a whimper. A death rattle. Maybe his last words. “Finish it...”

His mind raced with a thousand things that he could say. Platitudes, apologies, regrets. It wouldn't make any difference. It wouldn't let him up, even if she let him live. He was dead either way.

Better to die by her hand.

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#, as written by Guest
She choked. The air in her lungs suddenly clumping together as though it meant to suffocate the life out of her. The anger dies as quickly as it had risen, and she stares in sudden horror at what They have done. Do they know? They must. Tracked her, tracked them together. They would know what this would do, would force her to do. She is torn between running and staying, from following his command, and refusing outright. This is what they had done.

She wants to cry, but she is too cold, too weary for it. Instead she dips forwards, her knees hitting steaming ground, her elbows and forearms close behind as she puts herself on the same level as her protector... hunter... It takes long moments to make her lungs work properly again, to form words that dont sound like half-stalled hiccups. "'M sorry." She moves her hand, touching it to his brow, soothing it as though he was some small child, her touch tentative as much for his anger as any danger that they were in. "'m sorry Edward."

Had it been an hour ago they were in their little sanctuary? That she'd crawled beneath makeshift bedding and wrapped herself up in the only human protection she'd known in... far longer than she wanted to remember? The contrast was stark, and bleak, and bitter in comparison, though she could almost mirror it if she'd chosen to. Pretend their smoking circle of ground was back up the hill, that nothing had happened...

She shivers. "Can't get you home. Don't know even..." she doesnt lift her head to look at the scenery, she knows she is lost. Even the whispers of the hunters were disagreeing quietly just within earshot. She shakes her head slightly, and in doing so her gaze is brought to the knife in her hand and she drops it as suddenly as if it had burned her. "Can't..." She pushed herself up then, suddenly, pacing in increasing agitation. Agitation that soon gave way to something more powerful. Fury. Hatred. They had done this. They had perverted the only moment of peace she'd managed to claim since climbing her way out of their dark pit. How dare they? And now what did she do? What did she do? Run? Stay? The cabin was too far, even if she could haul what was left of Edward across the snow, there was no guarantee there was much still standing. Or that that wasnt what they were waiting for. Or that Edward's clarity wouldnt fade the next moment.

Frustration gnawed at her, until she was reduced to stamping her feet, howling her rage at an empty forest, almost daring the organisation to come forth and face her wrath. How DARE they?

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There wasn't much he could do, sprawled out in the snow. From what sensation he could still feel, at least one of his legs was broken in multiple places, along with most of his ribs and an arm. Just the simple act of breathing felt like he was inhaling razor blades. The cold was claiming his fingers and toes, the digits blackening as the frost set to work on his bones. And still his heart raged to keep his vital organs working, whilst trying to expel the deadly mixture that had reduced him to a bloodthirsty predator.

With every ounce of strength he could muster he propped himself up on his good arm, ignoring the needling pain in his chest and the dull ache in his legs. With tears running from his bloodshot eyes, he turned towards the girl.

“'Slynn.” He gasped, spluttering a welter of fresh blood onto the already soaked fatigues. “Please...”

His arm gave out and he flopped back into the drift, coughing blood into the muddied slush around him.

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#, as written by Guest
The force pressing down on him would vanish in the moment he tried to put his arm beneath him, seconds later, he would find Aislynn not only by his side, but levering herself underneath his arms, as though she could pull him upright. "No." She tells him, defiantly. "No. Wont. Not here. Can't make me. We're going. Come on. Come ON. We're going now." Her words tumbled out in a rush, only growing more frantic as they do, and when it becomes clear that he cannot help her. Any thoughts of danger are gone, that the entity that had... possessed... him would still be lurking didn't matter. He was Edward. She couldn't just... just...

A whisper sends her from his side, into the trees, and it would take a long half-minute before she returned, her whole body tilted in order to haul a long branch behind her. 'Branch' was a light term for it, the thing was easily big enough to act as a litter in a pinch, but even hauling it alone took more effort than her numbed fingers and tired legs wanted to give. She would keep moving, however. She would cry, and beg, and push and pull until she could get Edward- whether he wanted to or not- onto it. Moments later, however, it would be clear she couldn't move it, as he feet dug into the snow beneath and the rough bark gouged ugly lines across her palm.

"Help me." It began as a whisper, a beg, a loss of hope, and grew to an angry demand... Anger had power, all emotions did, and no sooner had she backed the words with her power than was she buffeted aside, and the hands that had held Edward down now sought to aid him, the damn thing skidding along as though pulled by a team of dogs, leaving Aislynn staggering and floundering alongside trying to keep pace. "Town!" She tells nothing, and everything. "Town!"

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He was slipping in and out of consciousness. The world shifting between blacks and grey hues, only vague shapes visible in the fog. Sensation returned in starts, his body slowly shutting down due to the tremendous amount of trauma he'd been subjected to.

The motion of the make-shift sled started him into wakefulness, another bout of coughing spilling more of his life into the snow. He lolled against the branch, barely aware of Aislynn as she sprinted along beside him.

“Jus'...” He slurred, struggling to raise his head. “I'm... finished...” It was simple fact. The combination of his injuries and the exposure to extreme cold should have killed him long ago. It was only his strength of will keeping him alive and even that was slipping. “Should be running.”

Before he heard her response, he had slipped back into the pall of grey fog clouding his vision, the breath catching in his shattered chest.

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#, as written by Guest
She would falter before long, unable to keep up with the inhuman speed that carried his sled forwards. It is only then that the headlong plunge would slow, and she would be half herded to Sebastian's side, curling half against the branch, half against his side as they return... far more quickly than either Aislynn or Edward could have gone alone... but then, lacking a physical form had its advantages. She holds her focus as long as she is able, drives them forward, feeds them, first with the energy of her anger and fear, and then with what reserves she held for herself.

By the time she hears the whispers speaking of others, of hunters in the snow, she is beginning to fade herself, panting with exertion, and the sled is suddenly unmanned, skidding off the last of it's momentum over the top of the small slope and down towards the men below. She's aware of alarmed calls, shouts, booted feet, and she is crying, sobbing. "Bear!" She tells them. "Bear! Please, he's not... Please!" the pounding of her blood in her ears is too loud- there seems to be too much of it, even as she's half-coated with the blood from Edward's clothes. Someone tries to put her on her feet, and they fail beneath her, dropping her onto the hard-packed snow of the road before anyone has a chance to get a hold of her. The thud of her temple against the ground overrides the noise of her own body, struggling to power what it must on what reserves she has not already spent, and when the darkness comes rushing towards her, she opens her arms and welcomes it.