She awoke slowly to the sound of rain beating against stone. The wind blew fiercely. The dawn was slowly lighting the horizon through the thick curtain of clouds to the east. Leilani sat up quickly, this scene was unfamiliar to her.
There were charred ruins all around her, some stone structures still stood- like the one she'd just awoken in- otherwise the area was deserted. She thought for a moment that she must have fallen and knocked herself out, the thought passed quickly when she ensured there were no painful lumps on her head.
What did she remember? Leilani closed her eyes, by now the cold water had soaked through her hair and garments. She remembered waking and preparing to leave... Stepping through her front door... and then nothing. Leilani had been met almost immediately by darkness and then awoken here... Her heart pounded as the thought of being caught ran through her mind. She took up a defensive stance and began looking around, what if she had been kidnapped? "No." Leilani jumped in surprise at the sound of her own voice in the otherwise silent area, no, she hadn't been captured or she'd be dead already... Perhaps though, perhaps she was dreaming.
Carlita didn't remember much other than that she had argued with one of her fellow shrine keepers. She had stomped back to her room and the next thing she knew, the bed she was sitting on was harder than the cot should have been.
The familiar rain drops fell on her head and she looked at the grey sky. She pondered about the present situation, she had experienced vivid dreams before but this was different. The rain continued to fall at intermittent intervals. She decided to look around to get an idea of her surroundings.
She got near an edge and looked down; her eyes widened at what seemed a large distance from the top to bottom. She scrambled to get as far away from the edge as possible. Carlita ended up falling backward down a flight of steps leading to (what appeared to be) a tunnel. Her fall echoed through the tunnel. "Great if this is a dream I wish I would wake up already." She muttered fairly loudly as she rubbed her head in misery.
"Oi.." Alec sputtered, rubbing the back of his head, blurred vision clearing to a rather dismal setting. "That explosion did more than I thought..." He wondered aloud, shaking his head of the absurd thought. IT couldn't have done this, but then, where was he? Without putting much more thought into it, He climbed to his feet, the boggish ground underneath him threatening to suck him under should he stand in one place for too long. With a quick pace, he moved, holding the soiled tail of his jacket over head to shield him from the rain.
Leilani wiped the water from her face and began to move, ignoring the rain that pelted down upon her already soaked figure. She needed to find a dry place to rest and regain her strength and thoughts before she could begin to figure out just what was going on and where she was. Water thrumming upon ruins and the sound of it running in small streams at her feet filled her ears as she sloshed through the deep puddles, squinting in the thick mist created by the rain.
Carlita managed to get up and walked down the tunnel cautiously. She wondered if this place was nothing but a wet maze. She heard a faint noise come from outside. She just shrugged it off as she walked on. She noticed foot prints after awhile and it put her on her guard. She didn’t know who or what all she would find. She ended up back outside in the rain and it seemed to dampen her mood. She was glad she saw no one at the moment. Her attitude wasn’t at its best. The farther she walked, more foot prints came into view. Suddenly she tripped over something and saw that it was a foot. She murmured “I am sorry.”
Alec laughed, watching the scene unfold just a few feet infront of him. "Damn broads, can't pay attention to anything." He chuckled out, walking up to help them. "C'mon now girlie, get up." He called, reaching out, taking Carlita's hand and pulling her to her feet.
Leilani tensed and straightened, "Who are the two of you, and just where are we?" She questioned, brushing soaked strands of hair from her eyes. She looked them over carefully and noticed nothing of familiarity- she didn't know them, and both wore very odd clothes.
"Hell if I know babe, but my name's Alec, nice ta meetcha." He gave a seductive grin, neither of them looked bad at all, quite the contrary actually, just their attire...it was so damned odd.
Carlita’s blush went 2 shades deeper at the rougish tone this man was addressing her. Really he didn’t have to be so blasted blunt about her mishap. She accepted his help and he just looked so rough. She wanted to retort but her attention was caught by the lady who had also made her way to the vicinity. She looked wet but then again so was Carlita. She was quietly reflecting on the two people who now occupied the same space. The rough man introduced himself as Alec and his grin made Carlita feel quite uncomfortable. She dismissed the seething rage that shouted inside her. “Nice to meet you…Alec.” She hesitantly gave her hand to the man in a hand shake. She was uncomfortable the whole time he was looking between her and the female acquaintance. Her attention drifted to the female in question. “What is your name miss?”
"The name's Leilani." She replied, reaching into several of her pockets frantically, when her fingers touched the topaz medallion that rested there she breathed a sigh of relief, at least that she still had... "And you are?" She questioned aloud, quashing her inner turmoils for the time being.
Carlita smiled and bowed respectfully. "My name is Carlita. It would appear we ended up in here. Do you know about this area?" She just rambled on even though it wasn't something she usually did. For once she was glad to see someone different but questions still hung in the air.
"I have no idea where we are, sorry." Leilani replied, "I just... woke up here. I remember heading out to go to work, and then suddenly I'm laying out here in the rain. Nothing is familiar, I've never been to such a rainy place."
"It rain's alot in Chicago, but it ain't nothin' like this doll face." Alec replied, adding on a shrug to finish answering her question when attention was brought to him.
"What's a... Chicago?" Leilani questioned, cocking her head to the side, "I've never heard of it before." She glanced over at Carlita, wondering if she knew what the hell Alec was talking about, because she was genuinly confused.
Carlita looked just as confused as Leilani. She wasn't sure about this Chicago either. She just shrugged at that comment. "I believe it is safe to say the weather here is less than pleasing and quite annoying." She wasn't sure about this Alec man. She decided to keep a close eye on him. His words were very odd to her, she thought they very careless and slightly unnerving.
"Why don't-" Leilani's words were cut off by a piercing pain in her head, starting at the left temple and stabbing backwards, deep into her mind. She groaned and fell to her knees, clutching her head. One has fallen, another sleeps. Protector of the stones you shall be until the day they awake.
Came a whisper as the pain began to recede.
"It's the city I'm from." Alec replied, but his attention was shifted quickly, brow quirking in confusion with the girl's collapse. He couldn't say he'd never seen it before, but it usually involved some sort of drug or atleast a bullet... "What the hell?"
Leilani shook her head, clearing the last of the pain and the ringing from her ears, "I'm fine." She managed, forcing herself to rise shakily. What just happened?
She thought numbly, What was that voice, and what did it mean?
Carlita noticed Leilani seemed troubled but knew it wasn’t good to question. She was really a stranger all the same. She was pleased to see that Alec had some form of manners. She looked around and noticed a relatively dry place for them to go. “I have a small suggestion why don’t we try to go into the cavern up ahead. I don’t know about the rest of you but talking out in the rain isn’t pleasant for me.” Too many memories in the rain and rather not look back now.
She hoped they would take her suggestion.
Leilani was about to respond when she suddenly rocked on her feet, eyes dimming as she felt as though something had fired through her skull. She blinked, choked. Leilani couldn't breathe, couldn't see, couldn't hear, and quite suddenly she vanished from between the pair of her newfound comrades, disappeared altogether.
"Oi! Kitten, what the hell happened?" Alec stared on, completely mesmerized by the scene unfolding infront of him. People don't just disappear into thin air! But then again, people don't just appear places either. He was confused, the crazy shit around him was just getting worse...and he hated not being in control.
Carlita looked confused and scowled at Alec's loose language. "Well I hope she is ok wherever she disappeared to." She just walked toward the cave leaving the ranting strange man behind.
Tynan woke and looked around in confusion. He had been walking in the mountains for what had seemed to be months and had found his way into a cave where he had rested. As he looked around his confusion mounted, this didn't look like the place he had fallen asleep at.
Carlita had approached the cave with caution but still feels unnerved like something was waiting. She couldn't complain too much at least it was out of the rain..then she noticed a figure that looked like a man. "Excuse me?"
He stiffened and tensed ready for trouble. "Who are you? I warn you I am armed!"
Carlita looked stunned and stepped away from the man but tripped over the rock. "Please I mean you no harm...my name is Carlita..and I have no weapons on me." She tried to stand up again and her ankle was tender.
He slowly reshieved his weapon and cautiously approached taking out a first aid kit. "I...am sorry for startling you...usually people treat me badly..."
Carlita nodded and let him check her ankle. She preferred his company then that strange Alec's. "I am not the only one here. A man by the name of Alec might come here and he has a strange way of talking. I apologize for intruding but we have been in rain for quite a while." The silence caused her mind to wonder about all that happened.
"Oi! I wasn't done girly! What the hell happened? People don't just disappear!" Alec ranted Angrily now, yelling as he followed her into the cave. "Who the hell are you?" His hand flew immediately towards the pistol at his side, drawing the weapon and aiming with one fluid motion.
Tynan finished bandaging her ankle and turned uncaring toward Alec. "You must be Alec. What are you pointing at me?" He asked making no move to attack as he began to pack away his first aid kit.
Carlita shook her head at the scene Alec was creating. "Alec I do not have any idea on what has happened to our friend earlier. I desperately wanted to get out of the rain. Please take notice sir that he mended my injured ankle so does he look like he is wanting to fight?" Carlita wondered why did it seem men always wanted to draw weapons out. She examined Alec's weapons they didn't look impressive but she could smell a hint of powder that she knew could light a fire. She looked apologetically at the man who mended her ankle.
"You have my apprication kind sir for bandaging my ankle but what is your name?"
"What is it?" Alec cocked his head to the side at the question, dumbfounded by it. Who wouldn't know what a gun was? this place really was screwy. "Are you daft?" He asked, firing off a round, the bullet lodging it's self into the stone wall behind, knocking off a fairly large fragment of stone.
"Is it magic? I'm not daft...I have never seen anything like that." Tynan asked stepping back a little. He turned to look at Carlita still keeping a weary eye on Alec. "I'm Tynan...sorry for scaring you...I was being hunted and thought you were with those men...."
"It's a damn gun." Alec rolled his eyes, holstering his weapon. He didn't have many rounds for it, and there probably wasn't a gunsmith anywhere near this godforsaken place. "So, where are we?" He asked, pulling a smoke from his jacket pocket, and lighting it with a match.
Carlita smelled the powder and it hit her like a ton of bricks. "So that is gunpoweder...Well excuse us Mr. Strange for not being familiar with your weapons. Perhaps a lesson in manners would aid you in this uncertain time period." She could see similarities in the items but it surprised her all the same. "Nice to meet you Tynan and who was hunting you?"
"People that hate others that are different...I don't know exactly who they were..."He wrinkled his nose in distaste at the smell of the cigarette. "What is that? It smells foul. And what is a gun and gunpowder?"
Carlita was searching for the words to explain it. "It is a powerful mix...I have observed it in starting fires. I don't know what a gun is though..."
"Ugh, so many questions...just...shuddap!" Alec barked taking a deep drag off the cigarette dangling from his lips, blowing a plume of smoke towards Tynan.
Carlita rolled her eyes and placed her hands on her hips. "Please Alec try to be patient." She wondered if they could work together.
Tynan growled and backed away from the smock. "Gross...You needn't be rude just because someone hasn't heard of your strange terms and items.It smells like pipe tobacco but worse..."
Carlita chuckled at his description. "So will you tell us something about yourself Tynan?" It was nice to know there were some old fashioned men left.
He looked thoughtful. "I...was trained by a fire mage...and I am cursed." he said slowly hoping they would not get involved with him.
Carlita could see the pain in his eyes. It matched her own whenever she would think about the past. She knew what it was like to be a cursed and have shadows follow you. "Very well you don't have to tell us anymore if you don't want to." He doesn't want to get involved with us. I won't force him to confide in us.
"How is your ankle?"
Carlita blushed slightly at the concern. "It is better thank you kind Sir. It would seem we are to be acquaintances." She got up and set on a flat piece of rock. "So how long have you been...here?"
"About a week. I had...trouble the last village I went to so I have been living in the mountains for a few weeks I came to this one a weak ago."
"We need to get out of this place, the storms finally letting up a bit. We should move while we can toots, guy." Alec finally spoke up, dropping the spent fag once he'd finished it and standing.
Carlita stood up and not really effected by his loose tone. "Where do you suggest we go Alec?"
Tynan frowned at Alec not sure what to make of him but more distrustful due to his attitude.
"Some form of civilization. Find a village, other people, somethin'. Need ta' make some sense outta' this mess." Alec replied tersely, cocking his hat to the side a bit, pulling the bill down as he moved towards the mouth of the cave. But something stopped him, he caught movement out of the corner of his eye, he couldn't quite make out the object, but it seemed to be...some sort of animal...
Carlita started to walk towards Alec's direction and hears a low growl. It was hard to tell if it was an echo or if the animal was in the room. She scanned the area and saw nothing but rock. "I agree but does anyone else hear the growl?"
Tynan looked around sniffing the area and scanning it with his eyes as he tensed ready to fight. He caste a small orb of flame to illuminate their surroundings
Carlita tried to strain her vision but still it seemed like nothing was there. The colors such as red,brown and hints of blue resonated throughout the cave. She wondered if she was loosing her mind and contiuned towards the mouth of the cave. The hairs on the back of her neck were still raised in suspicion.
Tynan studied their surroundings and then looked up. "Above us!" He cried out spotting glittering eyes above them as something huge moved through the shadows above them. He looked at the thing trying to discover if it was one foe or more but couldn't distinguish the shape or shapes from that distance.
Tynan's voice reached Carlita's ear and she snapped her head up. The eyes left anyone looking instantly feel cold and in a split second or so it seemed she felt a cut on her face. By some miracle she moved and injured the "creature".
Back to- And so it began