Mary's ghost, 6/17/2005
<Hayley> It is very late at night, and you fell asleep some time ago, Hayley curled up asleep beside you as usual. Having had some pleasant dreams, you gradually come to consciousness. You're chilly... draft getting in under the covers. <Hayley> And Hayley is not there! <Janus> ... Mmh. >_<
- Janus gropes for the duvet for a moment before noticing that something is amiss.
<Hayley> (You hear some low murmuring in the next room; the door is slightly ajar.)
- Janus sits up, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed.
<Janus> (Can I hear what's happening?)
I'm so sorry.
<Janus> . o O ( What is going on? )
- Janus is somewhat confused, still not feeling fully awake.
- Hayley 's voice sounds strained. It does sound like Hayley is talking to someone, but you can only hear her side of the conversation. It's really rather surreal.
- Janus approaches the door quietly, a bit uncertainly.
Oh yes, he is very good to me...
- Janus pauses just outside the door.
<Janus> (What else?)
I love him, yes, very much.
<Janus> (can I see any movement or anything through the gap?)
<Hayley> (Just Hayley... she is standing and talking to thin air, apparently. She is hugging herself; it's a bit chill.)
- Janus cannot resist the temptation to eavesdrop... It is just too curious.
- Hayley glances towards the door you are standing by, and apparently decides you must still be asleep.
- Hayley sobs.
I don't know if I can!
- Janus frowns worriedly.
It's the Church! They'll know what I am!
<Janus> . o O ( What is going on here? >:( )
- Hayley 's little body straightens sharply as if she had been struck by a blow.
No, I want them to be safe too. I miss them so much...
- Hayley shakes.
- Janus throws the door open.
I'm so sorry - I never forgot about any of you-!
- Hayley turns around suddenly as the door swings open. She looks very startled.
<Janus> What is going on here? <Janus> Are you alright?
- Hayley glances back at whatever she was speaking to, then turns back to you.
<Hayley> Oh, Janus! My mamma, my mamma is dead!
- Janus looks about the room suspiciously.
<Janus> ... <Janus> I know, Hayley.
- Hayley staggers over to the chaise longue and settles down on it, crying openly now.
- Janus quickly closes the distance to sit down beside you.
<Janus> . o O ( Meddling ghosts. >:( )
- Hayley is wracked with sobs. She seems as tiny and vulnerable now as when she was 13 and a new Fledge in your care.
- Janus puts his arms around you.
<Janus> Hayley... <Janus> I'm sorry. <Hayley> She was in one of their camps, for a year... they split them up. Women in one camp, men in the other. <Hayley> They made her work so hard... <Hayley> She got sick, they didn't have good food or water.
- Janus lets you talk, since that seems to be what you need...
<Janus> (or are you done?) <Hayley> And when she died, they didn't even give her the Sacrament. They took her wedding ring - it was the last thing she had left, and they buried her in a mass grave. <Hayley> And she never heard what happened to me, or my father or brothers. <Janus> She found you here, though...
- Hayley nods.
<Hayley> She went looking... she looked for a long time for us. <Janus> And the others... <Janus> Are they...? <Hayley> They were still alive when she found them... but in a camp, and Dad was sick. <Hayley> She looked all over Australia for me, but I was nowhere. So she started looking everywhere else. <Hayley> She is glad that I have been so well taken care of. <Hayley> But my father, and my brothers... <Hayley> They deserve the same. <Janus> ¬_¬
- Hayley sobs a few more times, trying to bring herself under control.
<Janus> What... <Janus> What would you have done?
- Janus asks, unhappily.
<Hayley> I can't just leave them there. <Janus> Well, you're not going back. It is too dangerous. <Hayley> Oh don't do that. Please don't! Please don't forbid me from going! <Janus> DO you even know where they are? <Janus> Do you have an image? <Hayley> Mamma knows what camp it is... <Janus> That is not the same. <Janus> It will not work. <Hayley> I can find it, I learned where they all were. <Janus> And I won't have you traipsing all about that forsaken place; it's infested with catholicism! <Janus> You'll be destroyed before you ever get near them! <Hayley> I'll find an image, I'll find some way! And I'm not weak like I was when I was 13. I'm as accomplished a sorceror as you! <Janus> Is that what you think? <Hayley> I can fight, I must find a *way*.
- Janus starts to say something, then bites his tongue.
- Hayley looks at you pleadingly.
<Janus> You will not go, and that is final.
- Hayley pulls away from you and looks at you angrily.
<Janus> If it *must* be done, someone else will be sent. <Hayley> If your mother asked you to do something on her deathbed, would you deny her last request?
- Hayley cries out, impassioned.
- Janus 's features darken visibly.
<Janus> Don't bring my mother into this.
- Hayley practically crumples visibly.
<Janus> That is... uncalled for.
I'm sorry, Janus.
<Janus> Someone else will go.
- Janus says quietly.
- Hayley looks back at you.
- Janus turns and leaves the room.
<Hayley> Let me go with them, *please*. <Janus> No. <Hayley> My brothers won't know anyone else.
- Janus is in the other room now...
- Hayley follows him tearfully.
<Hayley> Please, they won't know anyone else. <Janus> They won't need to. <Hayley> Do you know what kind of hell they have been through?
- Janus picks up his dressing gown and shrugs into it.
<Hayley> Please, they are my brothers. <Janus> How will your dying change what they have suffered? <Janus> What would that prove? <Hayley> I'm not going to die.
- Hayley says firmly.
<Janus> Because you are not going.
- Janus says equally firmly.
<Hayley> Janus! <Hayley> I know the Church better than anyone in this Court. I was *raised* in it. <Janus> Does that make you immune to their crushing cold? <Janus> Does it make you able to resist their evil charms? <Janus> Because that's not what I recall. <Hayley> No, but I'm more suited to withstand it than a Sidhe. <Hayley> And I know how they think, I know their ways. <Janus> And there are those more suited to withstand it than you. <Hayley> Then send them and let me go too. Please. <Janus> My mind is made up. <Janus> I am not going to risk losing you!! <Janus> . o O ( Certainly not over some mortals who may even be dead already! :( ) <Hayley> Janus, I need to do something. I can't sit here idly, wondering when the people you send will come back. <Janus> You will see them once they are returned. <Janus> And if they do not return, then it will be because it was hopeless to begin with. <Hayley> I can't sit here idly while everyone else goes on with their lives around me. <Hayley> Please, don't do this to me. <Janus> You have a life here! <Hayley> I have a life, but what is my purpose? <Hayley> What purpose do I serve? <Janus> What sort of question is that? <Janus> You have no end of opportunities here! <Janus> Access to myriad ways in which to better yourself, while your every need is looked to! <Hayley> What point is there to bettering myself if there is no way I can contribute to our society in a meaningful way? <Hayley> I know I'm important to you, but who else is there? <Janus> Windrider cares for you... despite everything! <Janus> You have friends here. <Hayley> Yes, I do. I have a few. That's not what I'm asking for. <Janus> Getting yourself killed will in no way contribute to anything! <Janus> And I... I could not stand to lose you again.
- Hayley 's eyes well up.
<Hayley> I know, I know you couldn't.
- Janus knots the belt of his dressing gown.
<Janus> ... <Hayley> I just... I - how can I make you understand?
- Janus shakes his head emphatically.
<Hayley> I'm not made for sitting quietly in court. I am made for action, for quests. I have all these skills that are going to waste. And if my brothers are alive, if my father is... I love them so much... how can I not go on this quest?
- Janus covers his eyes with one hand, pressing his temples with his thumb and ring finger.
- Janus drops his hand, looking hauntingly forlorn.
<Janus> Do I not also have your love?
- Hayley looks hurt.
<Hayley> Of course you do. <Janus> Then heed my words. <Janus> This is unnecessary. <Janus> It is vanity. <Janus> You said yourself that they would know you the instant you set foot in their place of power... <Hayley> I don't know that for sure. I'm just afraid they might. But I'm not afraid to go and save my family. <Janus> There will be *other* *quests*. <Hayley> Like when? Like what? What could be a more important quest than saving my family? Yes, they are mortals, but they are my flesh and blood. Don't you feel at all for them? <Janus> I *said* that I would send someone to save them! <Janus> Do you think me so heartless? <Hayley> Who will you send?
- Janus sounds hurt and indignant.
<Janus> I have hardly had much time to think about it, now have I?
- Hayley reins in her temper which was getting away with her.
<Janus> ... Windrider, perhaps! <Hayley> You can't send him. <Hayley> Your mother needs him. <Janus> I will decide who I can and cannot ask!
- Janus says defensively.
<Janus> I am trying to do what you wish, *and* protect you from harm? *Why* do you scorn me for it?
- Hayley closes her eyes and shakes her head.
<Hayley> I'm not scorning you. <Hayley> You know what? I give up. I give in. You win again. You will never understand how important this is to me or how much it hurts that I'm not to be allowed to go. <Hayley> Good night Janus. <Janus> Fine. <Janus> Good evening.
- Janus turns on his heel and leaves the room, heading out of the apartment.
<Hayley> I'll be in my own room when you need me again. <Janus> I shal;l try not to *bother* you.
- Janus says as he leaves.
<Hayley> Oh, it's never a bother, Master.
- Hayley rushes off to her own little room.
- Janus is livid.
<Janus> YOU COME BACK HERE THIS INSTANT!
- Janus turns and storms after her, eyes full of stormclouds.
- Hayley looks back, once, crying, then Flicker Flashes to the one little room she did keep for herself; it is a sitting room, mostly.
- Janus will go to your room then, and pound angrily on the door, with complete lack of decorum.
<Janus> OPEN THIS DOOR!
- Janus will Portal Passage his way through if you fail to answer promptly (I'm just not sure if you're typing or what).
<Hayley> (I'm not opening the door for you, so Portal Passage away.)
- Janus steps through, in all the terrifying splendor of an enraged Sidhe.
- Hayley was already terrified before you come through, and is already cowering in a corner.
<Janus> GET OVER HERE!
- Hayley is frozen in place, eyes wide with terror.
- Janus pulls a random painting off the wall behind him and hurls it to the ground, smashing the frame!
<Janus> FACE ME! <Janus> IS THIS YOUR BRAVERY?! <Janus> TO SNIPE ME WITH THE MOST HURTFUL WORDS YOU CAN MANAGE, THEN RUN AND HIDE LIKE A FRIGHTENED DOG?
- Hayley is facing you, well, staring at you, in fact, terrified.
<Janus> IS *THIS* WHAT YOU WANTED?
- Hayley 's face is streaked with tears.
- Janus picks up a vase off an end table and throws it against a wall.
<Janus> TO pick and pick and pick until you break me? <Janus> WELL CONGRATULATIONS!
- Hayley 's eyes lose all the light that was left in them.
<Janus> DO whatever you wish!!!
- Janus turns on his heel and stalks off once again.
- Janus 's robe swirls ominously behind him.
- Hayley sits, waiting for Dovev to come for her.
<Janus> (How long are you going to wait?) <Hayley> (I am sure that my life is over, so at least until dawn) <Janus> (well, no one seems to have showed up to kill you :V) <Janus> (not yet anyway!)
- Hayley will get up and go look for Janus when the birds begin to sing and she is still alive.
<Janus> (where are you lookin'?) <Hayley> (Our rooms, first, then the palace library, then the roofs, then Janus' library) <Hayley> (then the roof of Janus' library) <Janus> (well, there are some rooms in both the palace and the library that you don't have access to, as you know...) <Janus> (You fail to find him elsewhere.)
- Hayley will tap on the doors to those rooms, then, starting at Janus' library since that's where she is, then returning to the palace and trying there.
<Janus> (It's quite windy out, FYI! The sea is... active! :V)
- Hayley 's search for Janus is the most terrifying hour or two of her life, save for the hours after he left her and she sat waiting for her doom.
- Hayley jumps at every sound, expecting it to be Dovev closing in for the kill.
<Janus> (You don't see Dovev in your travels... of course, that doesn't mean he isn't there) <Hayley> (he's not in his secret rooms, huh? Or not answering when I tap, anyway...)
- Hayley will try Oxford as her last resort.
<Janus> (nobody there but Tara & co!)
- Hayley goes back to Aber and goes to look at their sailboat.
<Janus> (Personne n'est là!) <Hayley> (Where else does he like to hang out? I'm close to him, I think I'd know...) <Janus> (Well... who is he close to?) <Hayley> (But I suspect he is talking to his mother or his father, perhaps.) <Hayley> (In which case I may yet die. ;) )
- Hayley wanders towards the Queen's apartments to listen for his voice, numbly.
<Janus> (Uh, the Queen's walls are not exactly paper thin ) <Janus> (ALso, her rooms are guarded) <Hayley> (A window might be open, is all I was thinking.)
- Hayley won't hang around there too long.
<Janus> (Some servants probably look at you curiously) <Janus> (Her rooms would be quite high up, to afford a nicer view... I don't think you could hear people in them from the ground.) <Janus> (Unless they were leaning out a window... ) <Janus> (No one appears to be doing so)
- Hayley could go on the roof above her rooms but isn't going to intrude on her privacy that much.
- Hayley returns to the rooms she shares with Janus, makes the bed, and lies down on it with a sharp, glistening dagger close in her hand.
<Janus> (I didn't say top floor...)
- Hayley waits for her fate, whatever it might be. She has no idea, now.
- Janus is now known as Windrider
- Hayley lies there numbly, then begins to cry.
- Elanya is now known as Webmaster
<Windrider> (There is a knock on the door)
- Hayley has become an orphan, has been denied the chance to do something meaningful for her family, has destroyed her relationship with the man she loves and is not sure why she isn't dead yet, all in the space of a few hours.
- Hayley stifles her sobbing when she hears the knock, fearful.
<Hayley> . o O (But Dovev wouldn't knock.)
- Hayley gets up, holding the dagger low by her side and moves into the other room.
<Windrider> (there is another, gentle tapping)
- Hayley opens the door wide enough to look through.
- Windrider is there, swathed in slate and indigo.
<Windrider> Hello, dear...
- Hayley steps back, fearful. You work for Diamond too.
- Windrider smiles gently.
<Windrider> May I come in?
- Hayley shrugs.
<Hayley> It's not my castle.
- Hayley says numbly.
<Windrider> It's your room... And it is polite to ask. <Windrider> I do not want to intrude, if you do not feel up to talking.
- Hayley is still holding the dagger down low. It glints in the light.
<Hayley> Is Janus okay? <Windrider> I don't think you'll need that... <Windrider> He is with the Queen.
- Hayley nods numbly.
- Windrider continues to stand outside the door.
- Hayley moves away from the door without closing it and sets the dagger on a table.
<Hayley> His melodrama is rubbing off on me. <Windrider> (Is that an invitation? I am empathy man!)
- Hayley says, numbly again.
<Hayley> (It's certainly not a go-away.)
- Windrider will step inside then, and close the door quietly behind him.
<Windrider> I have news.
- Hayley braces herself for it.
<Windrider> I have spoken with a friend of mine among the prodigals, with great knowledge and experience in dealing with the Church.
- Hayley tucks a stray lock of hair behind her ear, cautious about getting too excited.
<Windrider> He thinks it should be possible, with the aid of another of his allies, to retrieve your father and siblings.
- Hayley nods, numbly.
<Hayley> They won't know who you are... <Windrider> I shall be going with them...
- Windrider clears his throat slightly.
<Windrider> That won't matter overmuch. <Windrider> These people are possessed of certain powers of persuasion. <Windrider> I shall bring the group of us to a point outside the compound, a safe distance away. Having divined your family's location, our allies should be able to retrieve them to us. <Windrider> However... <Hayley> I wanted to go. They've suffered all of this because of me, and I can't even do this for them. <Windrider> I have not the glamour to take so many both ways. <Windrider> I know that you have knowledge of the travelling arts. <Windrider> ...
- Hayley looks up at you at last, for a brief moment.
<Hayley> Janus doesn't want me to go... <Windrider> Well... <Windrider> Promise me that you will stay with me, outside of the compound. <Windrider> Promise me that, and we shall go together. <Windrider> I should not even be suggesting this... <Windrider> But I sense how important it must be.
- Hayley looks up at you.
- Windrider 's eyes are full of wisdom and kindness, but are also tinged with sorrow.
<Hayley> Janus won't forgive me if I go... <Windrider> Janus does not own you.
- Windrider says, gently reproachfully.
- Hayley suspects a trap. :o
- Hayley looks like she wants to believe you...
<Windrider> I think that he would more easily forgive this disobedience than... then your earlier harsh words. <Windrider> -_- <Windrider> (than) <Windrider> It is your decision, Hayley.
- Windrider smiles once again, looking sympathetic.
- Hayley 's shoulders stoop when you say that about what I said earlier.
<Hayley> I've been waiting all day for Dovev to come for me. <Windrider> Dovev? <Windrider> Whyever for?
- Windrider blinks
<Hayley> I made him so angry...
I know, dear.
- Windrider still doesn't really get why you thought Dovev would be coming to get you, but oh well!
<Hayley> She told me she'd kill me if I ever hurt him again. <Hayley> I live every day trying to please him. <Windrider> I think you must have misunderstood her. <Windrider> If you think that she would have you slain over a spat... :/ <Windrider> ... Well, you would be mistaken.
- Hayley 's eyes well up.
<Windrider> She does not love you; I cannot lie... but this is not in her mind. <Hayley> Not over a spat but if I hurt him...
- Windrider shakes his head gently.
<Windrider> No, my dear. <Hayley> I hurt him very badly last night... <Windrider> I have seen him. <Windrider> ¬_¬ <Hayley> And? <Windrider> He is upset.
- Hayley nods.
<Hayley> I shouldn't have said it that way, but it's true... he does try to exert so much control over me... I might as well be a slave. I know he doesn't mean it that way; I know he just needs me and is afraid of losing me. But it's *stifling*... <Hayley> And I can't talk about it with him; he takes everything so personally. <Hayley> And this is my *family*. <Hayley> I thought they were dead, but now they might not be... how can I leave it to other people to rescue them? <Windrider> You are his family. He does not want to lose you. It is his greatest fear; it consumes him. <Windrider> I am asking you to come with me. <Hayley> I want to *be* there... I want them to know how much I love them.
- Hayley nods.
<Windrider> But I must have your word... For a changeling to enter that compound would mean destruction. If something were to happen, then *I* would never be forgiven. <Windrider> And I would never forgive myself. <Hayley> I want to go. I give you my word, whatever it might be worth... I'm just afraid of making him more angry. <Hayley> I'm more afraid of him than of the Church.
- Hayley laughs slightly, a nervous sort of sound.
- Windrider looks at you sadly.
<Windrider> We will be going once our allies arrive; it sounds as though there is no time to waste.
- Hayley nods.
<Hayley> Let me get my sword, and some proper clothes... <Hayley> I will just be a moment. <Windrider> Hopefully the sword will not be needed. :) <Windrider> (You did just promise to stay out of the compound, with WR, just so we are clear... yes?)
- Hayley scurries into the bedroom and changes into something more suitable for an adventure.
<Hayley> (I did, if you'll trust an Oathbreaker's word. :/ ) <Hayley> (I don't mean to break it, but some people don't have much reason to trust me.) <Windrider> (I'm motherfuckin' WINDRIDER)
- Hayley pauses in the doorway.
<Hayley> She really won't kill me? <Windrider> She really will not.
- Hayley laughs hysterically.
<Hayley> I've lived nearly two years fearing for my life. That's really pretty sad, isn't it? But also pretty funny. <Windrider> :/ <Windrider> I am sorry to hear it.
- Hayley closes the door before you get the chance to say that.
- Hayley changes and re-emerges shortly, with her sword strapped to her waist.
- Windrider will take you down to the portal room to wait for Webmaster and his little friend. :V
<Windrider> (Anyway, I still said it :V) <Windrider> (and I am going to bed because it is nearly seven fucking o'clock and I have to get up i like 4 hours) <Hayley> (hehe, okay :D ) <Hayley> (Thanks! It ended up being a lot more involved than I expected...) <Windrider> (no shit :o)