Set in 1897 New York City. Characters in order of appearance:
Elijah "El" Liebel AKA Louis "El" Evans - a young boy of 15 with a shock of nearly jet black hair and dark brown eyes. He has freckles that are often hidden underneath the layer of dirt that coats his face. He wears well-worn clothing that helps him blend in to the dirty city. He's of about average height, and is good at blending in. He goes through names and personalities like pieces of clothing, trying to hide who he really is. He seems stuck on the name Louis Evans, however. Seems to him the opposite of his real one.
Percival Winfred Regimald III - looks to be your classic Caucasian of about 20 with blond, curly hair and green eyes. Doesn't look anything less than upper-middle class and prefers clothing that is stiff and unforgiving to comfortable and useful. Doesn't exactly blend in very well - unless you take into account that if he actually made the effort to look like everyone else than no one would even remember his face. He isn't 'short'. Marcus is just tall. He's fairly pale, but it isn't very noticeable..
Marcus - If you noticed, he doesn't have the long, rather pompous name that Percival has. Percival's, I might add, is 100% made up. Marcus might not be, but that's a discovery for another day. African American with absolutely no hair apart from a slight attempt at a beard which has completely failed. His age is a bit harder to pin down and could be anywhere from early 20 to late 25 (not like that looks like much of a difference anyway). He likes wearing anything comfortable and has ended up being the foil to Percival in personality. So he usually ends up being the one to think a bit more about other's emotions than good ol' Percival.
Elijah kept his eyes down and his feet moving forward as he moved through the streets of the city. He had siblings at home to get back to, and a he was ready to leave his work far behind. He could hear kids hawking newspapers around him against the backdrop of the setting sun, but he paid them no heed. They were trying to make a living just like he was, but he couldn't help them with that. Cockily, he adjusted the worn vest he wore, squaring his shoulders to cut a more imposing figure. He knew there were people around who were dangerous. He wanted to be the kind of person they didn't want to mess with. It was clear from the bruise on his eye that had just started to heal that he was no stranger to a fight, but he would rather keep those to a minimum. He was no good to his siblings if he was dead in an alley. He kept moving, ignoring the tantalizing scent of food wafting from a nearby inn. He didn't dare go in. They didn't serve kids like him. Kids that were unfortunate enough to have a job in a factory because it had been easier that way when their parents were still alive, and they had no other options when their parents kicked the bucket. Elijah kicked at the ground in front of him as he pushed the thought away. He couldn't afford self-pitying thoughts. He took a deep breath and looked up, stopping where he stood. Fine. The sunset was gorgeous, staining the road in front of him a dusty orange, and the smog-filled air a deep pink. There was no fresh air to breathe, but he took a deep breath as if there was. From where he stood, Elijah could see a tall statue, towering over some of the smaller buildings nearby. Without thinking - giving in to the childish part of him - Elijah came at it at a run, then launched himself into the air until he was hanging on tight. He began to climb, watching more of the city unfold before him. He wondered, breathless, why he had never thought to do this before.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Mar 29, 2019 3:40:43 GMT -5
(I'm struggling to remember how historically accurate words like telepathy are and never mind names. XD I'll look it up tomorrow if by some miracle I wake up before 1PM.)
The streets moved as streets do. People were going much the same place that Elijah was going to, unless you counted his stint he was having with the statue. Despite that, however, there were two people who weren't traveling anywhere during this time. They weren't clearly visible from the ground, both resting on the edge of a lower rooftop - not exactly advised. One of the figures was shorter than the other, but not enough to be mistaken for a child. Both wore hats and looked slightly uncomfortable in there current position. Elijah wasn't in a position to hear what they were saying or even make much of a guess. They were just keeping to a higher ground, looking at the people below. But if he could have heard them: "Don't call me that," muttered the man, smaller in stature than the other. "Hum?" muttered the man. "We're talking like this now, are we? Telepathy wasn't enough for you?" "Not so loud." "Jumpy much, Percy? No one's going to hear us, much less be educated enough to know what I'm talking about." The smaller man scowled a bit. "Rather quick to underestimate any listeners. Aliissa probably thinks that's really smart in this situation. Think I should see if she's around to put you in your place?" It wasn't a threat as much as a frustrated sigh. "You're distracting me, Marcus." There was a lapse of silence again - or any listener could only assume it was silence. It was only broken with, "There." Suddenly the shorter man's arm flew up, pointing off to the east and the thinnest trail of darker than expected smoke. "That'll be it." The shorter man gritted his teeth, frustrated. "Too far away! I was sure ... we need to get closer. We might be able to catch them before they have their fill." And then he was racing along the top of the building, Marcus following at his heels. There was only a small pause at the edge of the building before ... The shorter man disappeared, practically into thin air. It was hard to tell if he'd dropped off the edge of the building or had jumped to another nearby roof. Because disappearing was impossible. The other man caught his hat and it was possible to see him step off the side of the building, slowly lowering himself onto something just out of view. "Keep an eye out," he muttered under his breath, though there was no one around to hear. Both men hadn't seen Elijah, since they had not only been on a roof ahead of him and the statue he was climbing but also looking ahead instead of behind. They had other things to focus on.
(Also, if you were curious about appearances:
Percival Winfred Regimald III: looks to be your classic Caucasian of about 20 with blond, curly hair and green eyes. Doesn't look anything less than upper-middle class and prefers clothing that is stiff and unforgiving to comfortable and useful. Doesn't exactly blend in very well - unless you take into account that if he actually made the effort to look like everyone else than no one would even remember his face. He isn't 'short'. Marcus is just tall. He's fairly pale, but it isn't very noticeable..
Marcus: If you noticed, he doesn't have the long, rather pompous name that Percival has. Percival's, I might add, is 100% made up. Marcus might not be, but that's a discovery for another day. African American with absolutely no hair apart from a slight attempt at a beard which has completely failed. His age is a bit harder to pin down and could be anywhere from early 20 to late 25 (not like that looks like much of a difference anyway). He likes wearing anything comfortable and has ended up being the foil to Percival in personality. So he usually ends up being the one to think a bit more about other's emotions than good ol' Percival.
Percival is probably the leader in this only because Marcus never cared to be.)
From his vantage point on the statue, Elijah could see something. He really wasn't in a position to say what it was, but two people crouching on a roof like they did in those stupid dime-novels seemed unlikely. But, clear as day, there they were, as though they weren't aware that life wasn't some thriller or fairy tale or wild west story. Like they were old fashioned burglars, or people living on the side of the city that nobody saw during the day. Either way, it was enough to intrigue Elijah. It wasn't every day one saw people acting like the world was anything more than a dirty place where people wasted their days in the hopes of finding the "American Dream" that was more or less a lie. These people... they seemed to have secrets. Elijah could understand that. He had his own fair share of secrets, things he wouldn't divulge to anyone. Even his siblings. There was something about these people though... he couldn't tell if they were talking, but they seemed to be looking out towards something deep in the city. A crime spree? Getting caught with them could prove disastrous, but he'd done illegal things before. What could be the risk in following two people who were potentially committing crimes? He saw where they were pointing... that was the factory. That couldn't be good, but Elijah couldn't do anything but keep an eye on them. And then they disappeared. Elijah's heart raced in his chest, looking desperately around to see where they went. Relief flooded him immediately - he squinted Elijah could see the other stepping down off the roof. Elijah lowered himself off the statue and located the two almost immediately. They hadn't noticed him, it seemed. Good. This might be easier than he expected.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Mar 29, 2019 15:42:19 GMT -5
They were fast. And slippery. Even though they'd looked like dime-novel mystery men on the roof, when they got to the streets they suddenly looked a lot more like workers hurrying to their day job. Marcus was easy to loose in the crowd and after hanging close to Percival for a block he suddenly broke off and was completely lost. He was just too ordinary to be noticed. Percival, however, had a way of walking which set him apart from the rest of the pedestrian traffic. It was just a bit too purposeful and he was scanning the skyline every dozen yards or so, looking for something. Rounding a corner, however, and it suddenly became obvious why. An audible curse which Elijah probably would catch rolled through the air when the shorter man (when compared to his companion) rounded the last corner. It became pretty obvious why. The amount of people had suddenly become thicker and there was a small fraction which was suddenly moving in the opposite direction. Faced with the tide which wasn't in his favor the man moved closer to the houses. The noise level had also risen, along with the growing smell of ash. The man looked pained, covering his ears with his hands as he started weaving his way closer to the source of the noise. After a bit more progress had been made it became clear why there was a growing chaos. The upper story of a factory was on fire. The man completely stopped, looking up at it, his eyes reflecting the small bits of firelight which could be seen from the windows. Still looking at the building, hands pressed to his ears, he said something under his breath which was lost to the roar. Then he slowly started moving around, still looking at the fire, but suddenly seeming to have a purpose as he moved through the people who were huddled close - but not too close.
The two men were forgotten the moment Elijah realized what had happened. Several Yiddish obscenities escaped his mouth as he forgot about his shield of anonymity and broke full out into a run towards the factory. He knew people were supposed to run away, but that was his living, there. His parents had died there, it was... it was the only monument they got because they didn't have enough to pay for anything but a grave with a wooden marker that would come down soon enough, just by the forces of nature. His heart was pounding in his chest. He hated the place, but workers were expendable. There were thousands clamoring for the job he worked, just enough to earn money for his family. He couldn't get another job like the one he had, at least not easily. Another thought occurred to Elijah just moments later. Sometimes Benjamin waited for him by the factory after work. They would walk home together, but Elijah had left work early in order to surprise them. What if he'd missed it? What if Benjamin had been at the scene when the fire started, what if he'd done something stupid like gone in to try to save his older brother? How many people were still inside? Elijah, despite having to push through the crowd of people fleeing, was close enough to be coughing on the smoke. His eyes were watering. There were no security regulations on the building. Nothing to keep them safe. Only one way out, and this was a massive fire. It wasn't like the police would be there soon with the firemen... it wasn't like they cared about one factory in the working class part of the city. He coughed violently, his eyes widening as he looked up at the building. It was already beginning to collapse. Elijah made a stupid decision in that moment. Elijah wasn't someone who just cared about himself. He pretended that was all he cared about, but the truth was he had friends who worked in the factory. There was no knowing who made it out and who didn't. In the absence of authorities... there was only one option. He placed his shirt over his mouth, trying to suck in air that was clean - it was impossible, but worth a shot. And he made a dash towards the entrance of the factory.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Mar 30, 2019 4:12:56 GMT -5
It took several precious seconds for Percival to notice Elijah. It wasn't even because of his own attention, it was Marcus. On your left! Percival's head jerked around, looking at the profile of Elijah as he darted toward the entrance of the factory. For a second, Percival wondered if that was who they were looking for, but then the boy was gone. Cursing the bad luck, the man shifted, foot to foot. Marcus seemed to be having the same sort of conundrum. It was the shorter man who gave in first, however. It wasn't much like giving in anyway. It was just suspending the fact that he was probably about to die as he raised after the idiot. Smoke stung his nose and throat and he coughed, pulling in more putrid and poisonous air. It was a deadly cycle that the boy just ahead of him, darting through the factory entrance, had already entered. Percival pressed the sleeve of his shirt against his mouth to try and stem the harsh sting, but even when he held his breath it slipped in, tickling at his throat and chest. The heat hit next as he followed the boy through the entrance. The upper story was the worst of the fire, but some part of it must have already collapsed into the lower part. Percival looked up, nearly stopping to watch licks of flame twist along the roof. The pause was almost too much as, with a wrench of effort, he continued to follow the boy. At least he was sure this wasn't the person they were looking for. Unlike him, Elijah hadn't paused. "Wait!" he shouted, but pulled up as he had to cough again. His skin already felt like it was blistering in the heat and it was just that - heat. He hadn't even reached direct open flame yet. It took him a slim, deserted hallway before he could speed up enough to grab Elijah's shoulder, sure he would have to hear now. "Out!" he said, one hand grabbing Elijah's shoulder and the other motioning back to the entrance. "Out now!"
Elijah snapped at the feeling of a hand on his shoulder, and he violently pushed it away before turning to see who was behind him. "Out?!" He snarled, enraged. "You don't know who could be in here! The firemen won't come. They won't..." he broke off into a cough because of the smoke. There was no use trying to talk to the man who had stopped him. He wouldn't be satisfied until he knew for sure if there was anyone left in the factory. He didn't care if he died trying to get them out. Ruth was old enough to provide for Benjamin now, and if he had to go, at least he could go a hero. But the only chance he had at avoiding death was getting in and out as quickly as possible. He just hoped he could find a way to know if there was anyone else inside. Technically the factory had closed for the night before the fire was set, but the fact remained that often the foreman stayed late, and many workers had a tendency to loiter and spend time catching up after their shift was over. It was the only socialization they could get outside the cramped worlds of their own homes. And Benjamin. If Benjamin had tried to wait that day, it was entirely possible he had ventured inside before the fire started in an attempt to look for Elijah... he couldn't afford his little brother dying like this. He couldn't. He fought his way through the smoke, calling out occasionally and fighting back fits of coughing from the smoke. The heat was enough to make him feel almost as though he were melting; enough to cause a searing pain if he didn't move quick enough. He could see white-orange and blue flames licking at the building interior. His work station had already disappeared, entombed by the fallen-in ceiling. If he didn't hurry the rest of the ceiling could fall in on him, and he didn't want that. But he had to try... he knew too many people here. He'd lost too many people. He could pretend all he wanted that he didn't need anybody else, but the fact remained that he did. He needed the people here, whether they knew it or not.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Mar 31, 2019 5:10:02 GMT -5
Growling a few more curses, Percival had to hurry to keep up behind Elijah. The difference was, where Elijah felt like he was melt, Percival almost was. The tips of his fingers at one point caught on fire and it was all he could do not to scream, coming to a complete halt to smoother the flames with his own clothing. He picked up the pace again, but he'd lost sight of Elijah. Stupid. Stupid! He shouldn't have come in here. The boy was far more capable of running around a burning building than Percival was. Marcus, he said, hoping he was still in range. The boy has disappeared and I can't smell him through the smoke. I will be out in the next five seconds or ... Or he wouldn't be out at all. But he was distracting himself. Hurriedly, he broke into a faster, perhaps more dangerous run. Above him, another piece of the ceiling collapsed just after he past. A sea of sparks from it missed him as he rounded yet another corner and finally saw the back of Elijah's head. Breaking into a full out run, Percival once again manged to grab Elijah's arm. With his uninjured hand, since the other was currently useless at his side. The grip he had on the boy's arm was like iron. "I know who is in here," he said, louder so as to be heard. "Two men who would very much befit by seeing tomorrow." And then he didn't even bother with formalities as he scooped Elijah into his arms and equally didn't bother finding a proper exit. Instead, he spun, continued for a few feet back in the direction he'd come, and jumped. The wall was delicate, already weakened after the fire had reached it. Percival hit it feet first at an angle. It was the best he could do, feeling the great heat pass over him and then ... The smell of burnt hair, flesh, and the silent screaming in his own head as he rolled, letting go of Elijah as he went. Both of his hands were smoking, but it didn't stop him from pushing himself up, looking back at Elijah and ready to pull him back. It was useless. He'd seen enough fires and he knew that if there was anyone left in the building by now there wouldn't be getting out of it. Killing themselves for a lost cause would do nothing.
If Elijah had been given the chance to have his wits about him, he would have fought back, pushing against Percival so as to escape his grasp. However, he was so stunned by the man just picking him up that he didn't even have time to register the amazing stunt Percival pushed to get them both out, which of course just resulted in the quicker destruction of the building. He felt part of his hair catch on fire as they burst through the flames, but he was able to put it out relatively quickly. He would smell like singed hair and flesh for a good while longer though. Once out, he picked himself up and stared at the factory. He still wasn't confident that his brother wasn't in there, but there was nothing he could do now. Nothing but watch it burn down. The only place that really gave him hope for his family and his future, because they paid him to do labor that was easy enough, and, although dangerous, more profitable than a lot of other jobs. Now that was gone, and he had no hope of supporting his family. Even if Benjamin hadn't been in the inferno, he may well die soon due to the sudden lack of Elijah's income. They didn't live in a tenement - couldn't afford it, of course, but now he doubted they could afford even the cheapest of lodgings if they only had Ruth's measly income from tailoring garments. Which she was hardly old enough to do in the first place. The anger he felt bubbled to the surface and he turned on Percival. "What the hell was that for?" he yelled, losing his cool for the first time in a long time. "You don't know... you don't know if my brother's in there, or if my friends are in there... you have no idea! I... I coulda checked, or gotten them out if they were there... or..." his hands balled into fists, but he didn't say anything else. He hadn't wanted to die in there, but he'd be more than willing to to make sure... something lighted in his eyes as he stared Percival down. "You started it, didn't you?" It was spoken more as a threat than a question, though it wasn't like he could actually carry through on it, especially not against Percival.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Apr 2, 2019 23:40:30 GMT -5
"That's idiotic," said Percival, eyes flashing with steal. "If you're so worried about the people in the building, then maybe you should stop pointing fingers and check." He'd very slowly gotten to his feel. He was covered in soot and his hands were still badly burnt. His clothing was scorched and he didn't think his brain was capable of much else other than putting two words in front of each other. Marcus, he thought weakly. We're on the other side of the building from you. It would take a couple seconds for Marcus to get where they were, no matter how fast he was because of all the people. Percival carefully breathed out, feeling smoke clog his lungs. He coughed several times, feeling like his insides were as burnt as his outsides. He was hungry already, he vaguely noted. He'd be fine for now. He was watching the flames and nothing could possibly go wrong ... he pushed the euphoria away, glad he'd adapted his face over the years to not show it. Thanks to this boy they would have a lot harder time being seen as uninvolved. Percival would have felt like boxing his ears were it not for the fact the boy had clearly not done it completely out of stupidity. "Come on," he said, turning away from the fire. (It looked like he had. It was more practiced positioning. He was still looking at it out of the corner of his eye, but from how he made it look he was just looking at Elijah). "Come on," he repeated, more insistently in case the boy got further funny ideas. "We're going to look for your friends and brother. Make sure they're out of there." His half visible expression didn't leave room for argument. And he figured the boy would argue. Percival didn't think logic would make it too his smoke-clogged brain unless he was sure his friends and family were alive. If they weren't ... well, Percival had dealt with suspicion before and it was amazing how being completely blameless would clear your name really fast from all those other than the truly obsessive suspicious. He started to walk around the burning building, in the same direction he could see Marcus coming from. It was pointless looking for anyone out of the ordinary in the crowd now. The remaining people were all gawking at the flames equally by now. "Boy!" he called over his shoulder. "Come on!" He sent a mental complaint to Marcus as his hands throbbed. Truly, he was a lot less rough telepathically than how he responded to Elijah. Elijah wouldn't get to know that, however.
Elijah felt guilty almost immediately for the accusation. Percival seemed incredibly annoyed, but he also seemed as though he was trying to help, which not many would have been willing to do. It also seemed to him almost immediately that Percival wasn't originally from New York. Nobody from New York would just willingly help a kid find his family, even if it was in the strict way adults had when they thought they knew better than the kids they were with. Elijah didn't move from where he stood, though he was more than willing to join Percival. He just wanted it to seem like his choice - he wasn't someone who followed other people's decisions. He liked being right, and there was no possibility of being either right or independent if he just mindlessly followed the man who had saved him. He crossed his arms and strengthened his posture. "I know New York like the back of my hand. What makes you think I'll follow you when you're clearly not from here?" He knew his voice was suspicious and hard, but he did nothing to soften the tone. He didn't care how rude it sounded - people weren't inclined to listen to you if you were polite, especially if you were from the working class. You had to be rude to get a point across, or at least loud. At least, that was what Elijah had learned. But the truth was, most of the time he didn't want to be listened to. He wanted to pass by unnoticed because those who were listened to ended up crushed more often than not. He wanted to think there was a future ahead of him, uncertain as that may be. "And you don't get to call me boy." It was a sticking point for Elijah - he wasn't ever going to give his real name, of course, but the very least people who would know him for longer than a few seconds could do was call him by whatever fake name he chose to give. It meant he was at least seen as a person and not an incompetent and petulant child.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Apr 10, 2019 0:30:35 GMT -5
"Oh really?" said Percival with a sigh, feeling that he was practically pulling out his own teeth by not throttling this kid. Couldn't he even accept a little help without questioning why the sky was blue? "I suppose you've actually looked at the back of your hand? Noticed the small scar by the first digit of your left thumb? The chipped nails from hard labor? The small mole between the skin of your middle and ring finger? They way they're both clearly blistered from the fire I just tossed you out of?" He'd turned slightly, facing Elijah again. "Or maybe you noticed the way the nail on you thumb is a lot shorter from that on your pinky, because you use that side of your hand more. Little details and I've hardly known you a couple minutes. New York - a melting pot of citizens - and you're making a very hasty decision about whether I know my way or not. As for whether I'm from here, I must admire you noticing. But I've lived her a year and I'm fairly sure I can at least stop you from jumping into any more burning building and stop myself from becoming lost. Does that satisfy you or would you actually like to see some evidence that I have a job and reason to know my way." Percival's voice should have been hard. The young man - if Percival could count him as a man - had mistrusted and disrespected Percival. But instead, Percival's words were calm and even ... making the remarks sting even more. But he gave a little at be corrected over the 'boy'. He raised one shoulder in a little shrug. "Tell me your name and then we'll see." It was then that Marcus laid a hand on Percival's shoulder and asked, "Is there a problem here?"
Elijah stood his ground, not daring to take a step back even though he was a little bit intimidated by how much Percival had noticed about him. "Wow, it's almost like you looked at me once and decided you know exactly who I am," he retorted, arms crossing and jaw clenching. "You know nothing about me, and while I appreciate you caring enough to save my life, I don't need you assuming you know me just because you have good vision. Fine." He closed his eyes and sucked in a deep breath. "All due respect, I also don't really need anyone crazy enough to rush into a burning building knowing where my family lives. I don't know you, I don't know your motivations, and I'd rather look for them on my own." It was an honest response, but it was thrown out with a harshness that surprised even Elijah. He was scared, he had to admit that. He knew it was probably obvious to Percival, especially with his desperation. He didn't know why he was objecting so fiercely to help from Percival, but he did know that every part of him was screaming that leading the man right to his family was a bad idea. Perhaps it was just the suspicion that came with being hunted for multiple facets of his identity. He cooled down for a moment, meeting Percival's gaze with a steely glare of his own. "My name is Louis Evans." A fake name, born of suspicion. "No disrespect, but how can I trust you... or you," he added, acknowledging Marcus, "to help me when I haven't even met you before today?"
Post by mintedstar/fur on Jun 12, 2019 1:59:07 GMT -5
"Not at all," Percival answered eloquently. "I noticed physical details. Anyone can notice that. It's my job to notice those details." But he listened to Elijah's stubborn words like they would actually move either of them an inch. Stubborn had met stubborn. A fake name. Of course Percival knew, even though he also knew it was a fake name given often enough that it might be more known then his actual name. Marcus was probably the only thing keeping him from rubbing his face out of frustration. His hand was still on Percival's shoulder, seeming to steady him. "Excuse my friend and co-worker," said Marcus, tone a lot more polite than Percival's harsh truths (at least truths according to Percival). "I'm Marcus and this is Percival. We work for the newspaper." He didn't mention which newspaper, but his lip twitched a bit as if he was trying not to tell a joke. This didn't look to be an unusual expression either. "But Percival here tends to be a bit more prickly." Percival 'humphed' but didn't deny it. "It's pretty wise not to trust us of course," said Marcus with a small shrug. "You never know with people these days, right? If we're bugging you, we can go." He nodded back in the direction of the still large crowd of people. "But if I know Percival than he's going to be worrying about you all the way home. He's just not going to be telling you." "He was crazy enough to run into a burning building too," muttered Percival a bit moodily. "I honestly don't see why, if I'm going to be blamed for the possible injuring of people, why I shouldn't put that to right. That's my motivations." Marcus sighed. He wished Percival would learn when to let something go - and he also wanted to add that Percival was a lot crazier than 'Louis' for entering a burning building. "Anyway," Marcus said. "If you wanted to know actual motivations, other than very real ones concerning your health, then it's also the fact that this burning building isn't an isolated incident. Percival ..." It was a prompting. What? Percival sent across the mental link. Tell him? He was astounded. If you're that personally concerned. And, added Marcus. Maybe we can learn something. Percival gave an a sigh of defeat. "Alright. He is right about that. Side motivation would be the fact that this being one case of at least three other fires it might be possible that any other people you're worried about might have seen or know something." Amazingly enough, he actually hadn't gotten his clothing more than scorched. He pulled out of a pocket an old, battered notebook. He flipped a couple pages. He turned the book to face 'Louis' and flipped a couple more pages to show the large, blocky script. Even if Louis couldn't read, he could at least see the amount of writing. "And you seemed a bit concerned about your own name, so reassurance on any front that I don't actually care about names other than on a personal level. So please, give all the fake names you want." He glanced at Marcus, and then back at Louis. "Truthfully, the only name we're interested in is of the person who starts these fires."
Percival was certainly rubbing Elijah the wrong way. He couldn’t exactly articulate why, but he knew he was extraordinarily annoyed by the man and the presumptions he seemed to be making. Although he would never admit it, Elijah was extraordinarily grateful for the arrival of Marcus into he discussion. It seemed as though he was calmer and wasn’t as likely to stick to whatever stubborn ideas he had decided upon. It was as though Percival had something that he wanted Elijah to do that he wasn’t going to budge on, but Marcus made it feel more like a fair negotiation. And at least he gave Elijah the option of just walking away if he wanted to. Elijah had to admit, it was rather tempting. His eyebrow raised at the mention of a newspaper. As a rule, Elijah tended not to trust anyone who worked for a paper unless they were out selling it. The sort of people who worked for the papers were the sort of people who would try to make stories out of things that were entirely unremarkable, and quite often the kinds of things that could get people in trouble if they weren’t careful. Luckily, Elijah tended to be pretty careful. Yet he wouldn’t be telling these people anything. He knew what sort of tendency the papers had, and if anything he was less likely now to give them what they wanted just in case they decided to take advantage of him and his family. “Why the hell would anyone like you be worried about someone like me?” Elijah demanded, crossing his arms. Sure, Percival had saved his life. That was something that couldn’t be denied, but he still wasn’t sure if there were any ulterior motives behind that, or if Percival was just unusually kind. At least now, though, he had his confirmation that the two hadn’t started the fire, which was one step closer to believing the rest of their story. “You have nothing better to do than worry about some kid?” It was almost an accusation. He wasn’t quite going to admit that he believed that they hadn’t started the fire. If they were actually looking for the perpetrators, then they probably hadn’t done it. Yet he wasn’t going to let on that he had come to that conclusion. “There haven’t been any fires near where we live,” Elijah replied coldly. He knew he was being a bit unfair, but in truth he didn’t really care. If they were actually concerned for his health that would be one thing, but it didn’t really seem like they were. It just seemed like an excuse for what they were really after - information, or possibly just a fake story. “While I’m sure my family would be happy to help you, there’s…” he paled, cutting off when Percival showed him the notebook. It was a lot to take in with just one glance, but he understood a bit better the urgency of the situation, or at least the reality of it. This didn’t seem like just a sensationalist story in the making; it seemed like something a lot more genuine, and therefore far more nefarious. “Fine. But if either of you hurts my family or betrays our anonymity in any way that might set us up as a target, I will never forgive you."
Post by mintedstar/fur on Jun 13, 2019 22:37:03 GMT -5
If they rated this boy on how likely he was to mistrust someone, he would have been somewhere on the high levels. Percival let Marcus talk. Percival knew he was better when it came to flat out annoying people. Marcus was the one who calmed them back down. So he was honestly surprised when Marcus continued to rely on more information to expand what Louis already knew. "Because we don't want anyone else to die. And because if people knew some signs of things which happened before the fire than maybe they could stop it from happening altogether. Good things for a newspaper to do. Informing." His eyes still seemed to smile even if his new was grim. "You aren't the first one we've talked to. You're just the first one who rushed into the fire. Trust me, Percival just as recklessly careless around anyone." There was some fondness in Marcus' eyes as he looked over at Percival, if that fondness was punctured with a slight hint of exasperation. Marcus looked back at Louis and dipped his head in agreement to the condition. Percival murmured quietly, "On our honor. We wont betray or harm your family." He dipped his head, but while it just seemed like a nod when Marcus did it, it was far more like a promise when Percival did it. "Lead on," said Marcus. There was nothing more they could do while they were here. They'd lost the perpetrator.
Well against his better judgement, Elijah found that he believed both Percival and Marcus. He knew the world was full of people who were willing to lie to achieve their own ends, but for whatever reason, it seemed to him that these two men would actually keep his family as safe as anyone could in this day and age. It wasn’t as though anyone in the working class could ever claim to be safe from harm, but at least Elijah knew that his family was safe from at least these two people who did, in fact, seem quite capable of cause harm. “I’m grateful to find someone who cares about the lives of others,” he muttered, letting just the barest hint of suspicion color his voice. He didn’t want to let on that he was trusting them, but he did set off in the direction he figured his family would most likely be in. It had been a long time since he had gone there with anyone with him, but if he were perfectly honest he was happy he wasn’t making this terrifying walk by himself. “My mother won’t be able to talk to you, but my sister will likely be willing, as will my brother, but he has quite an active imagination.” Elijah just had to operate under the assumption that he would find all three of them safe and sound in the tenement he worked so hard every month for them to be able to afford. His income combined with Ruth’s was just barely enough to pay for the tenement and his mother’s medications. Nothing more. He looked over his shoulder to ensure the two men were still following as he took a winding path through the heart of the city into a corner few turned to look at.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Jun 18, 2019 2:43:56 GMT -5
Both Percival and Marcus exchanged a look and then started talking animatedly together telepathically. Or at least Marcus did, due to a couple statements from Percival. They both followed Elijah while they did this. Marcus was very grateful to get away from the fire. For Percival it felt like someone was pulling his hair while he was trying to walk in the other direction. He was stronger, but the pain almost caused tears to come to his eyes. It took effort to keep it out of his link with Marcus and even more so to keep it off his face. But they followed Elijah, not making to much comment on his description of his family. Marcus said an appreciative 'Thank you' and both of them ignored the notes of suspicion. They were alright with being suspected. In the end, they could prove what they had promised would be upheld. Percival breath out and coughed a bit as they finally seemed to be far enough away from the fire. It was to disguise a sigh of relief and it was an expert disguise. But otherwise, they just kept a careful eye out around them and waited to arrive at there destination.
Elijah could tell something was up, but he couldn’t place his finger on what. It was almost as if the two men walking behind him were discussing something merely with looks. He could do that with his brother sometimes, but it always struck him as odd watching when other people did it. He wouldn’t admit it out loud, but it made him more suspicious of what could really be motivating the men following behind him. He kept walking nonetheless. They had made an agreement, and Elijah had nothing if he didn’t have his word, so he would stick to it. It wasn’t long before they’d arrived at what he’d come to think of as home: a shabby tenement with oil lights burning and a fire escape winding up to the top window that was more or less the door Elijah used so he wouldn’t wake up any of the people in the floors below or within the doors that lined the narrow hallway. In fact, it had probably been months since Elijah had even seen the hallway. When he slipped inside, he was pleased to see Benjamin sitting on the floor with a book that appeared to be almost falling apart. He scooped the boy up in a hug, and Benjamin grinned back before noticing the other two men and shrinking behind his older brother.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Jun 21, 2019 2:31:56 GMT -5
(If Benjamin is not that small I'm going to be very embarrassed.)
Marcus, who had more of a way with small kids than Percival did, crouched and smiled at the young boy. There was a smile on his face and he said, "Hey. Sorry to intrude on ya like this." The smile was soft and kind. "We wont be here long. We're just friends of your brother." He rested in that position for a little and then stood up again and glanced at Percival. Percival looked back at him and arched an eyebrow. Both of his arms were crossed. Marcus looked at him in such a way that Percival was beyond familiar with. It was just a look, not pleading or reprimanding, but a look Percival was used to seeing just about every day and it always seemed to get him to do things - like relax - that he felt he really couldn't afford to do. It looked like the tension slowly drained, almost reluctantly, out of him, and he looked down at the kid, smiled a real (if small) smile and said, "Yeah. We were just interested in talking. We know we're strangers, but we'll try not to bug you."
Elijah watched warily as Benjamin peeked out from behind Elijah’s leg, curiosity overtaking his original fear. He frowned at Elijah, as though asking his older brother if the man was telling the truth. They both knew this was unusual. They both knew that Elijah never brought home friends, but neither said anything at all. Elijah didn’t deny Marcus’ claim, but he didn’t back it up either. That was the most either Marcus or Percival was going to get out of Elijah before they really proved themselves to have the best of intentions. He was interested in them, for certain, but that didn’t mean he was going to consider them “friends” any time soon. It would take a minor miracle for that to happen. “Talking to who?” Benjamin asked eventually, breaking the silence. He was still holding on to Elijah’s hand and hiding behind his older brother, but he seemed to be more interested in Percival and Marcus than he had been before. “Who are you?” He was much more confident than he looked, though it appeared he had inherited his brother’s suspicion.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Jul 5, 2019 1:37:15 GMT -5
"Well," said Marcus. "We were hoping to discuss the fires that have been going on. Have you heard about those?" His vice was curious, but not invasive. It was just the sort of calming tone which, if Benjamin wanted to, he could answer. But there was no requirement. "Maybe your mom," he added. "Or you and your brother. We're just interested. It's our job and just who we are as people. We work for the newspaper." He shrugged a bit, managing both to make the shrug explain it was no big deal and that it was an annoying but necessary bother. Percival often wondered how he could be so expressive without really trying. He was impatient and just wanted to ask, for starters, whether everyone was alright and so forth, but also whether Benjamin knew anything. Marcus, reading Percival's emotions down the mental link (he honestly wouldn't have needed to use it even if it wasn't there), gave a little. "Is everything okay around here as far as you know, Benjamin?" he asked. "There was a fire a ways from here, but we still wanted to check." Percival nodded, glancing once again at 'Louis' to see if he was going to say anything.
Benjamin looked at Elijah for a few moments as though seeing if he was allowed to answer. Elijah inclined his head just enough to give him the courage to nod. “My friend had to move cause there was a fire too close to his home and I was really worried about him,” Benjamin admitted, his voice small. “I haven’t seen him since, cause he had to go really far away… but we’re okay here! It’s scary that some people aren’t, though…” They all knew that there had been a few fires, which seemed unusual, but they hadn’t been in the States long enough to know for sure. Ten years was a long time, but as far as they knew, the fires just started because of industrial accidents or other side effects of living in a bigger city. Elijah still didn’t believe they worked for the newspaper, but it wasn’t as though Benjamin was saying anything that could put them on anyone’s bad side. “The smoke isn’t good for our mother’s lungs,” Elijah interjected. He knew it was a point that would make his family seem weaker, but for whatever reason he didn’t actually believe that the two men in front of him would see his family as a target. Especially if they were actually trying to put an end to the fire. “We’ve been lucky there haven’t been any in our area.”
Post by mintedstar/fur on Jul 24, 2019 3:47:42 GMT -5
Percival, who just seemed to upset people when he talked, didn't say anything while he let Marcus cover for him. "Thank you," said Marcus, both to Benjamin and to Elijah. "I image it isn't healthy for your mother and our apologies that you have to go through that." Percival gave a small dip of his head in agreement. After a brief pause, he did however, finally speak up. "Louis ..." He didn't look at Benjamin, though he did wonder if the boy knew his brother was using an alias. "Weren't you going to check to see if everyone was alright?" Then he nodded down at Benjamin. "Or was this the only person you were concerned about?" The man shifted, sending a discontented thought to Marcus. The fires were common, we knew that, but it's difficult to tell whether these are connected. Marcus didn't answer, but there was a brief hum along the mental link to confirm that he agreed. "It's alright if you don't wish to check on them with us here," Percival added with a small sigh. "I am glad your brother is okay." He looked down at the small child again before glancing at Marcus. Should we go? Marcus was quiet for only a second. We can wait for a proper time to dismiss ourselves. I'm don't think we're going to get much more while we're unwelcome. Percival looked back at Elijah. "Is there anything we can help you with?"
Elijah narrowed his eyes slightly. He knew it was considered good manners to apologize for another’s misfortunes, but the way it was said grated against him. As though Marcus and Percival had any right to remark on his family or have pity for them. He took in a deep breath, trying to cool off his suspicions and his thinly veiled anger. It wasn’t directed at them. Well, it was, but it really shouldn’t have been. There were more worthwhile things to be angry about, that was for certain. Yet he bristled when Percival directly spoke to him. Yes, he needed to check on Ruth and his mother, but the truth was he didn’t want to give these strangers access to his family… or at least any more access than was absolutely necessary. He was about to say something when Percival acknowledged that possibility. He planned to stand there until Marcus and Percival decided to leave, but he knew that wasn’t quite fair. After all, he still owed Percival for saving his life. “No,” he answered almost immediately, then hesitated. “I’ll make you a trade, though.” He knew he was on dangerous territory, bargaining with these strangers. “You make sure my family stays safe… at least from the implications of the press…” he knew that when there was danger, even if it was nobody’s fault, the press tended to try to find a scapegoat. People calmed down when there was someone to blame. It gave them a way to focus their wild emotions. “You do that, and I’ll let you speak with my sister. She might know more… her old schoolhouse burnt down.” He knew he didn’t have much to bargain with, but he knew he had to try. His family’s safety was everything to him.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Jul 28, 2019 3:22:09 GMT -5
Neither Marcus or Percival had ever considered betraying Elijah to the presses. They didn't even need to look at each other to confirm this. Percival seemed just a bit offended at the suggestion. "Your family will come to no harm from either of us." Marcus nodded his head, confirming the same. Percival wasn't really sure why Elijah wouldn't just want to get rid of them. He was almost impressed. The boy had already made it very clear that he didn't want their presence around his family. But he did appreciate the fact that he was willing to see past that to the possible importance that Percival and Marcus were here for. "We'd be glad to talk to your sister," said Marcus. But that was all he said, leaving the rest up for Elijah to take control of. He didn't want the distrust to flare up again.
“Thank you,” Elijah murmured, voice perhaps quieter than he’d meant it to be. He couldn’t quite explain why, but he trusted Percival and Marcus. He knew it was a bad idea, but he figured he was a pretty good judge of character. He figured his instincts would warn him if something was seriously wrong with the situation he was in. And if these two men could stop the fires that seemed to be starting more and more often… well, the only thing Elijah could do then was thank them for it. “Ruth!” Elijah called, and a girl with curly brown hair scuttled down the stairs with her hands clasped tightly in front of her. Evidently, she’d been eavesdropping. She looked at the two men with surprise in her dark eyes, but she lifted a quiet hand in greeting. “You want to know about the fire in the schoolhouse?” she asked, her voice surprisingly strong coming from what seemed to be so small a person.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Aug 13, 2019 3:38:06 GMT -5
"That would be very appreciative," said Percival. He didn't ask for Marcus to finish the next sentence, but that was exactly what Marcus did. "We do not wish to strain your hospitality. Thank you for answering our questions." Both men were appreciative in their own way, but after a fashion, those ways clashed. Percival inwardly frowned at Marcus. Laying it on a bit thick, Mar? he inquired. Just trying to smooth ruffled feather, Marcus replied brightly. Percival almost snorted, which would have been very out of place. "When did the fire at the schoolhouse occur and did you see anything odd before or after? Anything that stood out?" Outside of Marcus' few, within his own head anyway, Percival looked through what he knew about the schoolhouse fire. Amazingly ... he hadn't actually been there. It must have been before he had gotten here. "Was anyone hurt?" added Marcus.
Elijah narrowed his eyes, unsure whether or not their politeness was genuine. He could tell from looking that the two seemed to be having a conversation of sorts without actually speaking, just from their body language. He had gotten good at recognizing body language. It usually told him what a person was actually saying even when they were lying. Not that he was always accurate by any means… and it’s usefulness in making his own lies more convincing was only so-so. So instead of intervening, he let Ruth answer. “The fire happened about three weeks ago. I remember I was in class and the teacher was mentioning something about spelling, and how many of us had spelled words wrong, and then we heard a bell start ringing and I think that’s when we realized that we were smelling smoke from a fire in the schoolhouse, and not just from a nearby stove or something. I don’t know if anything was particularly weird, but that was when the screams started and a fire started poking out of one of the doors, and we ran. And I think I remember someone bigger than all of the rest of us running too, but he didn’t seem panicked like we were.” She looked at her feet. “I’m sorry, I didn’t tell anyone that before. I… I didn’t think anyone would be interested. And there were a few people who got burns but we were really lucky. Nobody died.” Elijah moved towards Ruth, holding her against his chest and glaring at Percival and Marcus as though it was their fault that his sister was upset. After a moment she pulled away and met the gaze of the two men. “You’re trying to stop that man, aren’t you? You know who he is?”
NOTE: Excessively spamming the shoutbox may result in a 24 hour ban. Other forum rules still apply. Please do not advertise by linking other websites. Members are encouraged to report offending content to the moderators by PM.
Cloudy Sky: Seeing the name gave me flashbacks to certain events that happened about two weeks ago.
Jun 22, 2021 4:51:35 GMT -5
Violetsky: Her name is Tika. She's a Cymric, or long-haired Manx.
Jun 22, 2021 6:27:08 GMT -5
Violetsky: I left the gel pack in the freezer overnight and now it's a solid thick sheet of ice.
Jun 22, 2021 6:32:05 GMT -5
Violetsky: Cymric is the technical term for a Manx cat that has long hair.
Jun 22, 2021 13:48:50 GMT -5
Violetsky: Technically they are Manx's as well; they are not a separate breed but an alternative variety of traditional Manx's, which are short-haired. They're also called longhair Manx's.
Jun 22, 2021 13:50:11 GMT -5
Violetsky: It's okay, I thought she was a traditional Manx for a while
Jun 22, 2021 14:02:13 GMT -5
Violetsky: Well, she is. It's like if brown bears that lived further up North had thicker and longer fur than their southern counterparts. If that was true, then they would be the same species and "breed", they just have different adaptations.
Jun 22, 2021 14:02:52 GMT -5