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 Opposites Attract? Maybe not...

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Maya Fay

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PostSubject: Opposites Attract? Maybe not...   Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:38 pm

Maya was walking along a paved path. It was the middle of the afternoon. The weather was scorching hot, especially for someone who was accustomed to the moderate, windy temperature of Ventus. The Sun shone down on her, burning her ghostly pale skin and she found herself stopping for shade every five minutes, unable to go on any further. The light dress she was wearing was a double-edged sword, in that way. It shielded her partly from the heat, but made her completely exposed to the sunlight rays.

However, even the fierce weather – or the heavy luggage she carried - could not dim her excitement at the thought of travelling to Valetudo. She'd never gone out of Ventus before; leaving her little part of the world to explore a new kingdom was the biggest adventure she'd lived yet. It was only local travel, but it didn't matter to her. It was better than nothing and she had even been able to fund the trip herself, without asking her parents for anything. Furthermore, it was somewhat of a business trip.

Indeed, not too long ago she had sealed a deal with a young, stubbornly hard to convince Seran, creating alongside him a humanitarian crew. They were still in the early stages, gathering donations and supporters to allow themselves some financial flexibility. She had started out in Ventus, near her village she knew like the back of her hand. She had won over the majority of them after putting in a lot of efforts. She welled up with pride at the thought of her hard-earned success. Now, she was heading over to a town in Valetudo to do just the same. They had to be known and encouraged outside of Ventus, too. Valetudo was the natural next destination, being closest to the Wind country.

She was planning on starting in the furthest village and working her way inwards to the center of the kingdom. Thinking about it rationally, she knew that would likely take more than a year. She wasn't rational. She tried not to be, in any case. She'd decided to take one step at the time. She'd worry about if something was possible or not later. Michalis was already down-to-earth enough. If she wasn't a little over-optimistic, their project never would've started in the first place.

She had travelled to the outskirts of Valetudo in a trader caravan – for free, coaxing them into letting her ride along – and had gotten off a little while ago. The prairies surrounding the villages of the kingdom were breath-taking and she wanted to take some time enjoying greenery that was near impossible to find in her home country. She'd spent at least ten minutes in utter awe, upon entering the bountiful region, gaping at the nature-filled land. It was nothing like the steep, smooth hills and plateaus of Ventus. The traders had tried convincing her otherwise: the roads were dangerous these days, what with the road hooligans taking advantage of the exchange route to fill their pockets. She'd given them only a deaf ear and left the caravan. She wasn't exactly stupid, just naive.

When she wasn't walking or taking a break to hide under the shade, she was frolicking – yes, frolicking- in the flowery fields or running wildly through the high grass. She was like a small child discovering snow for the first time, amazed and curious to no ends; wanting to touch, smell, feel everything. She lied down in the middle of the disparate field of flowers and tall grass, looking up at the sky. From where she was, she could almost be unseen to a distracted eye. She closed her eyes and heard the faint sound of footsteps, paying it no mind. Maya
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Cillian Byrne

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PostSubject: Re: Opposites Attract? Maybe not...   Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:37 pm

Thus far, Cillian's trek from Ventus to Valetudo had been exceptionally mundane, quiet, and solitary. In other words, his own personal paradise. Many brothers were making the exodus to Valetudo and many of them offered and/or requested to travel with him. He refused them all. It was no secret that Cillian preferred to be alone and well-known that he could take care of himself very well, just as all the brothers could. He did not understand why they insisted on traveling in groups. It was not for safety. Perhaps monetary reasons, should they stop at an inn? Again, not a concern for him, as he rather enjoyed sleeping outdoors. He also wanted to go at his own pace. Cillian did not linger or dawdle anywhere, as groups of people tended to do. He avoided cities, which always slowed him down with distractions and headaches.

Soon enough, he would be spending all his time in a city. The fact still rankled. Cillian had specifically requested to be placed on the front lines, which he felt was his forte. It was not arrogance that made Cillian believe he was an effective warrior - just cold, hard observance of himself in comparison to others. Instead, they had placed him on surveillance duty, watching the royal family. An important task, undoubtedly. Just not the task for him. Surveillance was notoriously boring. Not only boring, but uncomfortable. Being a glorified guard meant he would have to watch people in their most private moments. The secrets he knew after all his years in the brotherhood would make a spymaster faint.

Now, he was finally in Valetudo. It was not his first trip here, but every time he visited, he was stricken by the natural beauty of his surroundings. Nature was one of the few things in the world that Cillian actually liked and here it was, in all its majesty. Even crossing the small, cold sea that separated Ventus and Valetudo had been an interesting experience, though there had been inclement weather. He did not get seasick and thought it silly that other people did. All of it was different than Ventus, where he had spent most of his life. He admitted to himself that sometimes a little change could be pleasant. Sometimes.

Right now, he was walking through a field of flowers. The sun beat down red hot on the back of his head and his black robes absorbed all the heat, but Cillian did not so much as pause to consider removing an article of clothing. He would not rest until lunch, which would be small and eaten quickly. The grass whipped against his bare hands as he went, making him itch, but he ignored it. The city was close now; if he kept on the same pace, he would reach it by the next afternoon....

He halted, noticing an atypical dip in the flowers ahead. Cillian approached it slowly to find...a girl. Laying in flowers. In the middle of nowhere. How extremely odd. Even stranger, she seemed pleased to be laying on the ground. Women did not like laying on the ground - they insisted on soft beds. He knew this. She appeared to be in tip-top conditions as far as he could see - no blood, no grimace of pain. He stopped a few feet before her head.

"What's wrong with you?" He asked, voice crackling from lack of use. "Are you ill or daft?"

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PostSubject: Re: Opposites Attract? Maybe not...   Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:40 am

((OOC: It's been so long. I don't blame you if you're not even interested in this anymore...For what it's worth, I've finally decided I'll have Maya conduct the same humanitarian crew as before, just on her own.))

''...Ill or daft?'' The words reached her through dozed off state. She opened her eyes slowly; one, they were heavy from the nap, and two, from where she lay the sun blazed down on her mercilessly. Eventually, her blue orbs bore into grey ones, looking at her from above. The sudden sight, upon just waking up, startled her and she let out a gasp. She quickly sat up, looking at the stranger. After the initial caution subsided, her expression became curious. Who was this man? Had he just called her ill and daft? She was half-asleep when he'd said it, but it was starting to sink in now.

''I was just sleeping...although I didn't plan on it'', she mumbled, partly embarrassed and partly irritated by the comment. She couldn't directly reply to it, however, she didn't have the guts to say something equally snippy.

She felt the skin of her arms, shoulders and face burn. She hadn't slept for long but still the toll on her body was heavy. Already, the most exposed places were turning red. She got up, a smile playing on her lips. ''Good thing you came when you did, though! I would've looked like a charred lobster if I'd stayed like this any longer.''

He had the face of someone ready to kill, eyes harsh and jaw locked. She felt momentarily intimidated, but didn't let it get to her that much. She'd met a few people like him during her ''promoting'' drive. People who answered the door and promptly shut it in her face, for example. He was dressed all in black and she wondered briefly that it was probably excruciatingly hot under there. Then again, at least he wasn't something that barely covered his body and left him wide open for sunburns, like her, she thought bitterly.

She looked past his shoulder to the road. If he was here, there were only two possibilities; either he was heading the same way as her, or the opposite, towards Ventus. If the former was true, she would appreciate the companionship, placid though it may be. True, she enjoyed exploring alone more often than not, but since she was travelling, it was different. She couldn't dawdle about too much, but conversing with someone along the way was fine. Either way, if they were both heading the same way, they wouldn't purposely walk steps away from each other to make distance. She looked at him slightly dubiously. Well, he seemed the type to do just that.

She wasn't the type to judge, so she just went and asked. ''I'm Maya. Are you going to Valetudo too?''
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PostSubject: Re: Opposites Attract? Maybe not...   Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:29 pm

Daft, then. Cillian patiently allowed her to finish spouting nonsense, as in his experience, women did not like when they were being interrupted, even when they were saying things of no consequence. Though to call her a "woman" might have been a stretch. She seemed quite young, younger than him certainly, and more than likely just on the cusp of adulthood. The youth would have explained why she was so foolish as to be traveling alone in Valetudo during these turbulent times. It would have served her right should a troupe of marauding Glaciens descend upon her, but, being a Brother and a man of honor besides, it would not have been correct for him to allow that.

It took Cillian a moment to understand why she had referenced a crustacean. Seafood had not been served in his Discipline and he did not have a taste for it anyway. Then, he remembered that when cooked, lobsters often took on a crimson hue that he found to be slightly disturbing. So the girl had been concerned about sunburn. He supposed that would have been a fair point with her ghostly skin had she not been asleep in the grass of a war-torn country. And then she went on, introducing herself to a perfect stranger.

"Yes." He answered curtly. "I am currently traveling to Conciliare. Do you realize that this country is currently facing threat of invasion? Or that you are a small female wandering with nary another soul in sight? You could be ambushed. Unless you are a trained Consular - or greater - and I failed to identify that, you are being extremely careless with your own life. I think a sunburn would be the least of your concerns when you are speared through the middle by ice."

Though his tone hardly fluctuated as he spoke and his expression remained unchanged (save for the occasional lifting of a brow), there was something in the way Cillian carried himself and delivered his words that spoke of annoyance. This was, of course, unintentional, as most Brothers strove to maintain an outward (and inward) tranquility at all times. He hardly noticed this tendency himself, nor had anyone ever brought it to his attention. Even if it had been, he would not have cared.

"I am Brother Byrne of Ventus. Mistress Maya, I will accompany you on your journey to your destination or until a more suitable escort may be found. You will not need to compensate me for this, but I will expect you to show some sense, if you have any. As long as you are in my company, you will not greet strangers and you will not sleep in open areas during midday. Is that clear?"

The set of his jaw brooked no argument. It never occurred to Cillian that she might refuse the assistance he had been so gracious to volunteer. Thus far, he thought her silly, but not a complete idiot. Not yet, at any rate, though that would change if she decided to turn him away. He would not insist too hard - he had a schedule to meet.

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PostSubject: Re: Opposites Attract? Maybe not...   Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:16 pm

Maya bit her lip. The reminder that Valetudo was currently under possible invasion by the Glaciens was a heavy blow to her confidence. At times like these, families were worried about themselves, about their loved ones and preparing themselves for the coming rough times. Yet, she was going to collect money and supporters. A lot of doors would be slammed in her faces, that was for sure. She already felt stupid, and she knew the man she was speaking to thought she was stupid as well, from the way he spoke to her.

Now he was doubting her element wielding abilities! Well, truth be told she did fail miserably at controlling wind, despite her father diligently teaching her. She still tried as hard as she could, and little by little she was improving. It was just hard to see the changes. Wind was invisible after all. She kept mentally convincing herself, but in the end the crushing truth behind Byrne's words could not escape her. Being speared through the middle, though? Harsh.

So, it was with a meek nod and a forlorn tone that she answered him: ''will do...I'm in your care then.'' At least he didn't ask you for money, you can be happy about that. Yeah, I'm broke as Hell right now. Actually she carried a lot of money on her, but they were donations and she wouldn't touch those. Besides that, all she had left was a little pocket money – from her parents and errands she'd run here and there. She was still depressed. Then suddenly, she snapped out of it as she gasped:

''Brother?! Oops...''

She lowered her voice. So there wasn't a ghost around, she still felt stupid shouting out of nowhere that he was a brother. It was supposed to be hush-hush, no? Not that she knew.

''You're a brother?''

Yeah, and he called you 'Mistress', she thought as her chest swelled with pride. She had recognized him as a Ventus countryman, but she never would have guessed her was from the Brotherhood. She didn't know much about it, only what she had been told in stories, but she still knew enough to admire its members. They were the silent, skilled men who acted as vanguards of Ventus' protection. They were as impressive as anyone got. She looked at him with wide, awed eyes.
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PostSubject: Re: Opposites Attract? Maybe not...   Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:26 am

Cillian appreciated meekness and timidity in a woman. It meant they were more likely to follow his command. To say that he was not a people person would have been a grand understatement. In his Discipline, he was notorious for his preference not to work with others, but when he did, it was important that he was either in charge or left to his own devices. He was a fiercely independent man and liked things his way, as his way was usually - if not always - the right way.

He had thought his status as a Brother fairly obvious, especially with his dark suit and inky black cloak. He did not bother with anonymity in Valetudo. It was fairly well known among the people that the queen had employed bodyguards from Ventus. In fact, he found that his costume gave him a distinct edge in dreaded social interactions. Those who recognized his uniform gave him wide berth, which he obviously preferred. From her accent, he had gathered that she was also from Ventus. She should have been much better informed on the Brotherhood and what its members looked like, even if she had never met one personally. Her wide eyes did give him a small swell of pride, but he crushed it quickly. Brothers were not vain.

"I am a Brother." He replied slowly, as if he were speaking to a child. Honestly, she was a child, or little better than one.

They needed to get a move on if they wanted to cover a few miles more before nightfall. He looked toward the horizon, then to his pocket watch. Clock making was one of the few hobbies Cillian enjoyed and this particular gem was his pride and joy. It was his only material possession that he cherished.

"We move. Staying in one place for too long isn't very wise."

He began walking again in his same measured pace, with long legs and long strides. He didn't even look behind her to see that she followed.

"I assume you brought victuals and a bed roll. If not, I have food to share and will be able to hunt, if necessary. We are still at least a day away from Conciliare and will want to be well-rested and fed in the event that we are attacked. I do not have bedding to give, however. Hopefully, we will find a group that will be able to take you, as you will considerably slow my progress."

His first immediate priority, besides her safety and reaching Conciliare, was to find her another escort. Women tired more quickly than men and he expected she would grow weary and request rests more often than he would like. Also, she seemed a talker and he was not relishing the idea of traveling with someone who wanted to make conversation or worse - complain.

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PostSubject: Re: Opposites Attract? Maybe not...   Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:59 pm

As her makeshift companion walked off, Maya hurried to meet him, the heels of her sandals clattering on the paved road. Once she had caught up, she remained slightly aback, not bold enough to stand beside him. That and well, he marched so fast she could hardly keep up, although she did try. He'd made it clear she was costing him precious time.

''Oh, I have food. I actually have a lot more than I can eat, so I don't mind sharing either! And as you saw, I'm able to sleep on the ground so it won't be a problem!''she said happily. ''Though it wasn't exactly intentional...'' She had brought a great deal of food, dried fruits and nuts mostly, while she had a very small appetite. The goods were supposed to last her the trip. It was more inconvenient than anything; seeing as it just added extra weight to her luggage. She secured the bag on her shoulder and bit back a cry of pain. Her skin seared.

I guess this is the kind of mistake first-time travellers make. I'll be sure to wear something adequate next time. At least, they were now moving under a row of trees, which provided shade she thanked the Creator for. She let her eyes dart from tree to tree, amazed. She'd seen trees before, but these were different. Their trunk was larger and their leaves, oddly-shaped. She jumped to try and grab one but upon failing multiple times stopped and crossed her arms, pouting. Calling on her meagre abilities, she created a breeze that plucked a leaf and had it fall on her hand. She beamed at the success, clutching the leaf like a trophy.

Byrne was now far ahead and she ran to reach him. She fell into step again and took time to observe the leaf. It was pretty, with dark veins coursing within.

Eventually, emerging from her tranquil stupor, Maya noticed that silence between her escort and she. Not that she minded silence – and she could tell that the brother certainly did not either – but she was growing restless. Maybe it had to do with him being a brother, but she wanted to talk. She was curious. However, Byrne didn't seem at all talkative and she feared speaking up would only annoy him. She was dense but it wasn't hard understanding a personality as straight-forward as his.

She looked around, trying to distract herself with the scenery. She kept her lips sealed together in an unnatural way, like she was holding back words that threatened to spill out. All in all, she had to look ridiculous. But when had she not looked ridiculous since the day started?

I wonder if he's on a mission...He looks in a rush, so I guess he is. She let out a hushed giggle. Yet he had still made a stop to help out a poor damsel in distress. Were all brothers so dashing? Putting aside that dashing may not be the right word. Either way, she felt like she was on an adventure, and he was her protector. While she wasn't particularly interested by such tales (a hero rescuing a girl), she welcomed any story that involved getting out of the ordinary. It came with having her imagination. All that was missing was a band of thieves ambushing them. There was still time for that, she thought playfully.

---

Oh, the irony!! >: D
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PostSubject: Re: Opposites Attract? Maybe not...   Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:58 am

INDEED!

---

The silence was anything but companionable, though it was not strained on Cillian's part. By nature, he was a quiet man, at least when it came to situations in which everything that needed to be said had been. He was not one for idle chit-chat, or sharing anecdotes, or talking in any way that could have been construed as friendly at all. Cillian did not understand people and thus, he did not like them. He had seen enough of the frivolities of men and women to be uninterested in learning more of human nature. More so than most Brothers, Cillian was on the outskirts of humanity.

They traveled a good distance through plane, and then through thicket. The path they took was partly overgrown, which concerned him mildly. If it was overgrown, that meant it was less used, which meant that the odds of finding another group of travelers to foist the young lady upon were narrowed. It also meant that there was a greater likelihood of bandits traversing these ways. The Glacien presence inspired much migration between cities and thus created new opportunities for enterprising criminals. While journeying alone, Cillian had not been overly concerned about this. Should thieves be foolish enough to attack a man confident enough to be solitary in these troubling times, then they deserved the fate that would inevitably befall them. Now, however, he had the safety of an informal ward to worry about.

This trail would eventually rejoin with the more popular one; to seek it out now would take more time than he had. The other trail also went through towns and cities, and seeing as how they were both certain they had enough supplies for the time being, there was no point in wasting time in a highly populated area. Cillian detested cities. Large congregations of people and noise gave him headaches so powerful that they made him retch. Logically, with the sun descending in the sky at a rapid rate, the best option was to continue on their path and should opponents appear, he would dispatch them.

Finally, they happened upon a clearing, and none too late, either. In the center was a circle lined with rocks, harboring the dusty remains of a fire; apparently, this was a commonly used camping ground, which gave him some relief. If other travelers stopped here, that meant it was at least somewhat safe. Had this girl not been with him, he would have gone straight through the night and slept an hour or two in a tree. He did not need much more than that. However, he did not expect her to have his stamina.

"We will make camp here. Ready your dinner." This was the first he had said in hours.

He immediately set about gathering twigs and other kindling, tossing them into the center of the makeshift fire pit. When he was satisfied with how much he had gathered, he straightened them into the most efficient stack with the larger sticks on bottom and the smaller on top and enough room between so air could flow freely. The monotonous application of his practical knowledge pleased him. He enjoyed routine. Before long, the sun had set entirely and a roaring fire separated the two of them.

Cillian chewed thoughtfully on the dried meat he had brought and stared into the flames. Where exactly was the girl going? He probably should have asked her that at some point. His vast stores of common sense didn't seem to apply when it came to communication.

"Do you have a particular destination in mind?" He asked slowly, his eyes still trained on the fire. "We will come upon Conciliare tomorrow afternoon and, should you have a further goal in mind, I suggest you take it upon yourself to find a caravan or convoy with which you might travel."

The snapping of a twig somewhere raised his attention. He turned to look behind him and saw nothing. Cillian was likely being paranoid; this was a forest, after all, and in forests, there were snapping twigs. He heard it again, though, and thought he heard a dull thump immediately following. Better safe than sorry. The fire would ward off woodland creatures, but would only attract vagabonds. He had checked the perimeter earlier, but it would not hurt to do so again.

"Stay near the fire, Mistress Maya. I think I hear a large animal." He said as he stood, his tone still impassive. He was not telling a lie - a human was a large animal indeed. Cillian turned his back to her, hand resting on the hilt of one of his larger daggers at his side. There was no need to alert her...or their possible pursuers.


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PostSubject: Re: Opposites Attract? Maybe not...   Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:51 pm

Gullible as she was, Maya didn't even think to question Cillian's words. Instead, she wondered what the fauna of Valetudo was like, and what this 'large animal' might be. She obediently stayed near the fire, curious but wanting to avoid her escort's wrath if she caused trouble. She was usually good with animals, though. Maybe she could help? She'd felt rather useless since the beginning of their trip together. You're good with small, furry things, Maya. I doubt it'll do you any good now.

She heard a noise and jerked around to find the source. She thought she saw something moving in the shadows, on the opposite side of the camp. A ball formed in her stomach. There was more than one? She didn't know how strong Cillian was, but it didn't matter if he was pitted against a hoard of angry bear-things, right? Not to mention what she had spotted only had two legs. She only grew more frightened. They were up against some kind of half-breed night crawlers now? She knew reading horror novels was a bad idea. She could only picture the worst in this situation.

''B-Brother Byrne, she whispered, using the wind to carry her voice, there's one behind us. I don't think it's an animal...'' She came off as a total scaredy cat, but really she had no room to dwell on that. She didn't know how to fight and couldn't use her element in any offensive way. Her only hope of salvation was Cillian, but she didn't know anything about him. Would he defend her or take his chances and run? Would he try to fight and lose? Would he offer her in exchange for his life?!

No no no! I promise to be useful from now, so please don't do that!she panicked mentally. In the midst of her inner turmoil, she felt a cold blade pressed against her neck.
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PostSubject: Re: Opposites Attract? Maybe not...   Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:28 pm

Clearings had one distinct disadvantage and that was that they were completely open. Anyone with any modicum of grace could circle them as they were doing now. At Maya's voice, he flicked his eyes behind her. Thus far, he had counted at least four people, all of middling height. He could decipher no other distinguishing details beside the fact they were all fools. Cillian never removed his suit coat, which was an inky black so profound, no shadows or light were visible over its folds. If that wasn't indicative of his status as a brother, nothing would be...save for the daggers that were soon to be embedded in them.

"Mistress Maya, stay low to the ground, if you would." He spoke low from the corner of his mouth, eyes still scanning the area. Cillian hoped dearly that she was not prone to screaming, or else he would be suffering an extreme headache in the near future.

The one behind Maya was the most obvious threat; he doubted she was very good at defending herself. Likely, their attackers knew he was aware of them now, but had yet to make their move. This was probably for intimidation purposes. He doubted these particular individuals wanted him or his companion dead and for that reason, he would not kill them - immediately. The Glacien presence had forced some out of their farms and homes and the local bandits had risen to the occasion in taking advantage of the refugees. They took advantage of the weak in a merciless way and for that, Cillian could find little reason to show them much mercy.

One of the bandits - the one who had been lurking behind his ward - stepped into the clearing. A woman, but certainly not a delicate one, judging by the width of her shoulders and the strength of her jaw. He fought to keep his face impassive.

"Now, now. No need for alarm." The strange woman crooned, reaching out to pat Maya's head. "Just do as we say and you won't be hurt."

Cillian considered cooperation for half a second, but adrenaline was already coursing through his veins. He had very little and what he did have was absolutely necessary for his journey. Though Maya had insisted she had quite a bit to share, there would be no sharing at all if they took everything. Which they would. Thieves were not known for their restraint. He reached beneath his breast pocket, closed his eyes, and exhaled slowly. The woman's gaze fell to his hand as he drew a throwing dagger and she opened her mouth to scream, but it was too late. Cillian opened his eyes to a world moving in slow motion. The fire was billowing lethargically, the woman's expression was locked in place, mouth agape. Cillian, however, was still moving at normal speed.

The sound of something being loosed outside his bubble alerted him. The crossbow bolt, as soon as it entered his field of influence, began moving at a snail's pace across the clearing, its shaft wobbling back and forth in a spiral toward him. He stepped aside, letting it continue its journey, where eventually, it would embed itself in the woman's stomach. Another crossbow bolt crawled toward him and he caught it, breaking it over his knee. That was enough for one of the men; he dropped the crossbow and ran as hard as his legs would run. Two others remained, but they stood still and waited, obviously smarter than their friend. Over his shoulder, he saw the bolt drilling its way into the woman's stomach - and then his influence ceased and she was impaled.

The other two jumped in surprise. They had not known when his control would end, exactly, and thus, Cillian had the upper hand.

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Maya Fay

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PostSubject: Re: Opposites Attract? Maybe not...   Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:33 am

With death closer to her than ever, Maya was struck by a realization. She could easily cease to exist in the following minute, and what difference would her death make? None, probably. Oh, sure, she wouldn't get to start her band of do-gooders/defenders of justice and maybe a household wouldn't have a clean water supply – she thought of a random issue – but that was about it. She was but one person. Insignificant, and ephemeral. That didn't mean she wanted to die, or that she didn't value her life. She did think her goal was important and she wanted to see it through. She had simply seen a glimpse of how fragile, yet precious, life was.

A cold sweat ran down her neck at the sensation of the blade on her skin. Her body was shaking tremendously. She heard the woman talking clearly, while she was too terrified to focus on her words. Somehow, she was too scared to scream; the sound stopped in her throat, unable to come out. When the highway woman reached out and patted her head, Maya let out a soft whimper.

It was at that point Cillian began bending time, an experience Maya had absolutely no understanding of. She witnessed the course of events with a hazy vision and when it was over, she was nothing less than completely lost. She blinked, taking a moment to register that one of the highwaymen was gone, and that the woman previously threatening her was...collapsed head first on the ground right next to her, dead.

Maya stared with wide eyes, pupils darting back and forth. What a senseless death. The thief hadn't even been fighting for some kind of ideal or higher goal. Not that it would've made her demise any more acceptable, but the young woman just couldn't stand such a violent, meaningless scene. Hot tears welled up in her eyes and fell freely down her cheeks. She didn't even bother hiding them. She would choose looking weak and crying like she'd never lived through loss before than remaining emotionless in a situation like this. She wasn't capable of it, had she even wished to.

With a trembling hand, she reached over and closed the woman's eyes. ''May you rest in the Creator's arms and may he grant you peace'', she recited. The basic words for giving one's respects, something her parents had taught her. She had never thought saying them would be so hard, yet feel so shallow. She didn't feel any attachment towards this person, but right when she'd reflected on her own life, how could she not be devastated at the end of this one?

''W-we surrender...''

At the sudden sound of a voice, Maya turned around. She at last noticed the two last thieves, quivering a few steps ahead of Cillian. One of them pointed at the corpse.

''Just let us take Sofi and we'll get outta your way.''

Maya looked over at Cillian. It was the first time she did since the time lapse had stopped. She didn't have a clear view of his face, and she wondered what his expression looked like. Would he let them go? She didn't know. He had just been defending them, as well as their goods, but maybe he was the type to always finish what he started. All she knew is that she couldn't take another death.

''You...You should let them go'', she croaked.
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Cillian Byrne

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PostSubject: Re: Opposites Attract? Maybe not...   Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:06 am

''W-we surrender...''

He barely heard them over the rush of adrenaline through his veins, amplifying his heartbeat to a primal rhythm in his ears. This should have been the ideal situation. Cillian had not killed anyone - not directly. The thieves were surrendering of their own volition. Even so, his hand went to the dagger at his side while his other tightened on the one at his breast. They were cowards and they deserved a coward's death, did they not? He could almost feel the hand around the hilt of his blade warm and sticky with blood.

Cillian had always had a propensity for violence, one that his superiors had dubbed troublesome. They had accused him of seeking out confrontation. He had never understood the aversion; his talents were very particular. Most people liked to do the things at which they showed skill.

''Just let us take Sofi and we'll get outta your way.''

His expression did not change or soften. He was still considering. Their deaths would not weigh heavily on his conscience, not that any death had for a very long time. They might have had families or friends beside one another. People that would miss them. This did not matter a great deal to Cillian because he could not relate in any way. No one would care if he died and likewise, he could not think of a death that would affect his day to day life in an emotional capacity. They were bandits, common brigands, and they had accosted innocent refugees before. There was no guarantee they would not again.

He began loosening his larger dagger from its scabbard, slowly, so slowly.

''You...You should let them go''

Cillian jerked as if he had been hit and turned turned his head slightly, peering at his ward from his peripheries. Had he truly forgotten her? How careless.

Her hesitant voice drew the deepest contempt from him. Of course he should let them go. Who was she to tell him what he should or should not do? Her upset was so audible that it nearly pained him to hear it. What pained him worse was the small, dark corner of his mind that thanked her for the reminder and pitied her. He replaced his blade into its sheath with a soft click that was only barely hidden beneath the cracks of the oblivious fire.

"Very well. Mistress Maya, come to me. You two will not move until she is safely beside me. Is that understood?"

The two men nodded. They might have surrendered, but he did not trust them for even a moment. Revenge would be easily had were they to seize upon the young lady, defenseless and meek though she was. He had yet to have a charge perish in his care and he was not eager to break that record. She had not hired him, but that meant nothing. He had decided he would take her under his care and, currency exchange or not, he took his responsibilities quite seriously.

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Maya Fay

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PostSubject: Re: Opposites Attract? Maybe not...   Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:33 pm

Maya stared at Cillian fearfully, watching his demeanor change. While the aura of killing remained about him – she could almost feel his thirst for blood – he at least wasn't putting thought to action anymore. He had settled down. At her request? She doubted it. Truth is she felt excluded from the whole situation, like a passive character in a play. Still, she felt relieved and somewhat grateful to him. No matter his reasons for stopping, she wouldn't have to witness more violence. She could appreciate this much.

Going to him, though? Right now, she wanted anything but. He scared her. His detachment before death and swiftness in robbing lives was unlike anyone she had ever seen. How could she trust a man like that? She didn't fear for her life; he clearly meant her no physical harm. It was for her heart, soul and sanity she worried. Here he casually asked her to go stand beside him, and she could only give him a stunned look.

''O-Okay...'', she whispered almost inaudibly.

She got to her feet, legs wobbling. If she just did as she was told, this would all be over faster. Moreover, two lives were on the line. The bandits couldn't flee until she joined Cillian. In other words, their fate was in her hands. She may not have felt any compassion for them, but she couldn't be the reason they died either. She reluctantly walked up to the Brother – now that she thought about it, the initial admiration she held for him had dissipated. Always averting her eyes, she stopped and waited, slightly behind him to his left.

''Alright, you've got your girl'', one of the thieves called. ''We can go now, yeah?''

A hint of color returned to Maya's previously white face. These bandits must have had straws for a brain. Cillian had clearly called her 'Mistress', so why would they say 'your girl'? Did it look that way? She shivered; belonging to someone like him? Not now, not ever! The mere thought chilled her.

She usually tried her best to like everyone, but even she drew the line somewhere. She knew, however, that she couldn't high-tail it away from him just yet. From what had happened, she'd learned that she wasn't safe at all traveling alone. She needed to stick with him until he took her to Conciliare. That meant getting along with him as best as possible. She didn't want to wind up on his bad side. By now, she understood getting along with him only took about two things: be quiet and generally stay out of his way. She could handle that...even if she was a clumsy chatterbox.

She returned her attention to the felons, who were casting cautious glances between Cillian and their fallen comrade.
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