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    Reconciliation

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 781
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 8,075,256

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Energy Monarch
    Second Skill: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Skill:

    Reconciliation Empty Reconciliation

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 4th December 2022, 10:44 am

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Reconciliation RJtajUnz_o


    It had all finally come to fruition.

    After nearly a year of work, Maker had finally put together the pieces, signals and wiring that he needed to rectify. He’d hoped that the Dread Master’s plans would result in him acquiring such a specimen but there was never any guarantee. After all, it seemed the triplicate-branched scheme had been one path corrupt, with Scourge going into business for himself and undoing the work of his former organization. It was expected, as far as Maker was concerned. The dastardly icon of the shadow organization had been fraying on the edges for quite some time, seemingly giving into a not-so-hidden bleeding heart. He’d even thrown what amounted to a tantrum at Maker, demanding to know why he’d made a move on Vandrad without strict approval.

    Well, he’d had his reasons and the Dread Masters would hardly understand, even as they did the work of something beyond themselves. Nonetheless, the Master of the Ark had aligned himself with Vandrad and decimated a decidedly large portion of the Dread Master’s standing forces. Most likely in retribution for Mercury’s unexpected demise. The Terran smiled softly in ironic amusement, even as he watched his machine finish their work. How amusing it would be then to see their faces when they looked upon her visage, standing beside him in total submission. Well, perhaps not total; part of what made Mercury’s efforts so outstanding was her demeanor. If he simply wanted a powerful slave to obey his every order and word without question or comment, he had several other lackeys waiting. No, he’d recognized rather quickly that part of the Xocili’s charm, as it were, was her mannerisms. It would twist the knife even further in both Scourge and Vandrad, keeping them off base and presenting plenty of openings to eliminate them for good. The very image brought a deep satisfaction to Maker.

    But now was hardly the time to comment on hypothetical erections. With the last few adjustments made, the multitude of mechanical arms lifted away from the subject and went idle. Maker approached the unconscious form, unmasked but not unguarded. If there was any resemblance between Maker and Blade, it was long in the past. The Terran’s skin was a deep emerald shade, without blemish and seemingly smooth. His hair had been styled into a mohawk, as white as unstained snow. Piercing silver eyes regarded the refurbished body of Mercury as his hand reached out, landing gently on her lower leg. Slowly he walked alongside her, his hand trailing up the limb and over her body, fingers tracing over her flesh. It was not a scientific examination and while his hand never closed over any portion of her body, it was clear that he was touching her just for the sake of feeling her.

    Finally he pulled his hand away as he walked over to a nearby workbench and lifted up a remote. It had taken him some time to craft a device that could, in equal parts, keep Mercury under his control while preventing her from overtaking his work. The Xocili were regarded as the pinnacle of biology and technology, a living mecca of two estranged worlds meeting in harmony. Based on his analysis and examination, there was no telling how advanced the decryption needed to be to keep her out. That’s why he had been extra cautious in the preparation of his device, as well as the programming in her inner computing. There was no room for error or he would find himself a fight that he truly didn’t wish to partake in.
    He toggled the device on, even as he pressed a few buttons on a nearby keyboard. Initiating lockdown protocols, lasers clicked to life on the table and wrapped around the body’s wrists and ankles, strapping her down to the table. With her as secured as she could be, he flipped another switch on the device and then, with only a moment’s hesitation, pressed the button to reactivate her.




    On the other side of the world, a different kind of interaction was about to take place. Gren Ragnos was sitting at a desk, holding a book in one hand while another was resting on the desk next to the Fraedal codex. There wasn’t an official name for the tablet-portioned ‘book’ that had helped them learn more about Vriko. Based on the limited amount of information he had learned about the book, as it had refused to answer any other questions, he had given it a name himself.

    In truth, there wasn’t much he could do with it. The book was almost sentient in a way, willing to answer questions when it ‘felt’ like it. But he was unwilling to just sit back and wait for it to pop to life and provide an explanation. The former Knight wasn’t very good at staying inactive, which is why Themesycia had designed and designated the office he was in as his. It seemed, even before their recent coupling, that she’d already understood that Gren would be around more often, now that he and Vandrad had met and gotten to know one another. It was a rather homely little office, complete with the most up-to-date equipment that jewel could buy. There was a couch, a few chairs, a wine cooler and even an all-in-one exercise machine in case he ever felt compelled to a quick workout. And in truth, he had just finished a quick workout break; he was dressed in a gray tank-top and a pair of workout shorts.

    Mercury hadn’t been at the forefront of his mind at the moment but she certainly had a lot. Ever since their mission to save her from space, she had been heavily relying on Vandrad as support. Of course, it wasn’t like she was ignoring him but she’d needed the solid foundation that was her fiance. He knew, of course, that she was hurting but out of respect for both her and his son, Gren hadn’t pushed or pried. If she felt compelled to talk to him of her own accord, he would be ready and waiting but until then, he would treat her and talk to her the same as before. Truthfully, he’d been so caught up in helping Vriko and the rebudding romance with Themesycia to put too much focus on Mercury anyways.

    Still, there was no denying that he missed her. Despite how taboo it was, they’d crafted their own form of romance and it was safe to say that while she joked about him being her boyfriend, it was far more accurate than many probably wanted to admit outloud. Even he, in his most private moments, wasn’t sure how to reconcile the complicated feelings he had for her. Polyamory was one thing but sharing a love for a woman with one’s own child was complicated at best, scandalous at worse. Of course there was no judgment from the people of Rhaegar, who probably thought it was more commonplace than anything else. But for him, a human raised on Earthland, it was hard for him to admit, even to himself, that he loved Mercury. He didn’t seek to steal her away, despite their late-night, impassioned teases, but the truth was that the heart wanted what it wanted and there wasn’t much he could do about it. Alas, he gave a quick shake of his head and refocused, trying to distract himself with work rather than his own inner monologue.






    Words: 1244 | Tag: @Saffron Remington  | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
    Position : None
    Posts : 683
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 7,124,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Gunblade Master
    Second Skill: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Skill:

    Reconciliation Empty Re: Reconciliation

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 4th December 2022, 4:39 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    Well, well, well… it seemed it was finally time.

    Mercury smiled as her internal sensors beeped at her, alerting her that Maker was on the cusp of reaching the appropriate parameters of alterations to her “body” in order to revive her. She had been waiting and planning for this day for quite some time, eager to see what the Engineer might have in store for her. She could read all the things he’d placed in her body and knew that he was attempting to install failsafe to help him control her to some degree. Not to take away her individuality, it seemed – her mind was far too valuable for him to risk corrupting or altering it in any way, it seemed. But still, he likely wanted some safety measures in place to prevent her from attacking him. Little did he know that those safety measures were completely and utterly useless… but that would be a surprise for another day.

    For now, she wanted her entire focus to be on this initial interaction, so she had excused herself into her room at Silver Wolf where she knew she wouldn’t be interrupted, locking the door and making herself comfortable on the bed where she could close her eyes and immerse herself fully into the experience of her clone. The magical copy of her was where it had been for the last near year, laid out on a medical table completely naked as Maker had performed a number of surgeries upon her. Though Mercury had yet to establish a visual connection, as the clone’s eyes had been closed this whole time, she had always had an undetectable audio feed from the clone. She also had access to the clone’s physical sensors, meaning that she was aware of how he interacted with her. She could only smirk to herself as her monitors informed her of his hand slowly running up her leg and toward her torso, very nearly like some kind of lover or admirer. “Naughty boy,” she murmured to herself, despite the fact that he had kept the placement of his touch relatively PG.

    Then, after a few last minute preparations, Maker enacted his failsafes and the stage was set. “Show time..!” She waited as he hit the switch and then…

    The clone continued to lay there on the table, unmoving. Maker would be able to see from his computer readouts that the body had supposedly activated, and her synapses were firing as was to be expected from a property reanimated being, but there was no stir in her. This was how Mercury would remain for a minute or so, curious to see how he would react. Only after she had given him enough time to second guess himself and lower his defenses would she finally act. Snapping her eyes open, Mercury flexed her arms. While the magic restricting laser wraps remained around her wrists, her strength was more than enough to break the straps themselves from the table, which in turn gave her the freedom of movement to sit up and smash the table to pieces, subsequently freeing her legs as well.

    Rolling off the rubble, and to her feet in a flash, she snatched a sharp shard of the debris and locked her gaze on Maker with a more serious expression than he was likely used to seeing on her. Considering her last living experience was fighting for her life, he would likely not be surprised that she had a bit of a volatile start. Since she’d never seen Maker’s face before, Mercury was sure to leave any traces of recognition out of the clone’s expression, her emerald eyes staying on the extraterrestrial while darting around to get quick glimpses of her surroundings. If she understood that she was naked, it didn’t seem to bother her.

    She allowed only a moment long enough as was reasonable for allowing herself to catch up, Maker likely able to assume that she would have ways of verifying how much time had passed since her “death” and such. Finally, the Xocili smirked at him, a dangerous expression that was all too please while also being not the least bit friendly. “Well, well… someone has been a busy boy, hasn’t he… Maker?” It was the only logical conclusion she would have been able to draw, considering that he would likely be the only man in the universe that was capable of performing such a feat. She took in the sight of him, studying his face for the first time. “Just couldn’t live without me, could you? I’m touched. It’s a shame, though. All this time you really were quite handsome under that mask. I might actually feel bad having to carve you into little pieces…”


    At a similar, yet slightly different time, the real Mercury was making her way through the manor on New Rhaegar. A lot had been going on in the last few months, and not just for her. Everything that had gone down with Genesis had put Mercury, Vandrad, Blade, and many others into overdrive working toward the next phases of their mission. And while she certainly had a great deal more healing to do, the mission with Scourge had been the Xocili’s first active step in getting back to the woman she used to be before her kidnapping. Or well, second active step, she supposed.

    Ever since her return to Earthland, she had more or less been glued to Vandrad’s side, still her flirty self but very much wanting and needing only his comfort for a while. And though she still wasn’t sure that she was quite ready to throw herself back out there in the full Mercury swing, some more recent events, mixed with her regular therapy sessions, had allowed her to accept that she needed to start opening up again. Maybe not to everyone in the world, but unfortunately one of her more painful secrets had been ripped out into the open without her permission or control. The experience had set her back a bit, though she held no blame on Vandrad for that. In a way it was a relief that he finally knew. She just wished she’d been able to tell him on her own terms, and that chance had come and gone, all thanks to Thana.

    But that didn’t mean she had lost the chance to talk about it with another man that was very dear to her. Mercury hadn’t seen Gren nearly as much as she would have liked since her return. Not only because of how busy she was, but also because he was rather invested in helping Vriko find her own stable footing in the world. It wouldn’t be fair to say that Mercury had distanced herself from Vandrad’s father, though she certainly hadn’t been as aggressive about her attraction to the man as she had in the past. She had simply retreated into a protective shell from which she needed her own time and pace to emerge slowly from, and while they had never really discussed that openly, she was sure that Gren understood what she needed, and as such had never pushed the issue.

    But now that she was making progress, Mercury knew that she needed to take back some of the control that had been robbed from her and talk to someone about what she was going through, and there was no question in her mind that Gren would be the one to speak with. So when she heard that he was on the island, Mercury gathered her courage and made her way toward the office that Themmy had set up for him. She’d seen it before, during her tour of the island and the manor, though admittedly it had been some time since she’d gone inside. The Xocili knocked on the door and when she was prompted, she stepped inside with a smile. “Hey there, big daddy.”

    He looked as handsome as ever, the sight of the older man in his workout attire making her heart and stomach do a few small flip flops. For her own part, Mercury was dressed rather casually herself, sporting a pair of blue jeans and a fashionable top. Shutting the door behind her, she walked over and gave him a lingering hug. “It’s good to see you, handsome. How have you been? How’s Vriko?”

    WORDS: 1391 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 781
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 8,075,256

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Energy Monarch
    Second Skill: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Skill:

    Reconciliation Empty Re: Reconciliation

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 4th December 2022, 6:03 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Reconciliation RJtajUnz_o


    Nothing happened.

    Maker frowned softly, glancing over the monitor to check the vitals and seeing green all across the screens. A single brow raising, he looked back at Mercury, a bit surprised that she hadn’t awoken and begun flailing against her restraints. He turned his focus to the remote in his hand and turned it over in his hand. Had there been a missed connection somewhere? Perhaps he’d activated her biological parts and missed a wire or two in her mechanical ones? He wasn’t ecstatic over the idea of having to cut her back open and do more work, especially as that would require a full diagnostic. Sighing, his hand with the remote lowered and he turned towards the computing screen, beginning to type in notes as an update to the project. But before he could get very far, things happened very fast.

    On the monitor linked to the camera above the table, he saw her eyes open. Turning to face her, he watched, unable to react in time, as she ripped the straps from the table with the slightest flexing of her arms. Pushing herself into a sitting position, she smashed the table beneath her, destroying the piece of equipment so dutifully that all that was left were fragments. She rolled through the carnage, grabbing a jagged piece of the table and came to her feet, facing him with a look that would have chilled a volcano. He met her gaze evenly, having turned to face her fully and seemed intent to remain quiet, his own face painted in serious consideration. After a moment, she smirked at him and greeted him properly, remarking that he had been busy. It wasn’t surprising that she was able to put two and two together, solving the mystery that would be difficult for most people in seconds flat. She continued, amused that he’d chosen to bring her back, seemingly envious of not having her presence. She feigned empathy for the fact and then complimented him on his features, stating that she would almost feel bad for having to cut him up.

    Maker’s own grim look opened into a smirk of his own. “A true challenge is quite hard to find nowadays. Your untimely death, while beneficial, robbed me of the chance to truly put myself to the test. I had hoped to simply study you and learn what I could about your unique and fascinating biology but I found that I had the means and knowledge to bring you back as colorful and ill-tempered as you were prior. Though, I did take your… feelings for me into consideration.” With that comment, he raised his hand up with the remote. “A few adjustments to your processor. Quantum configurations that would prevent you from harming me and while you would still have the same virulent feelings towards me, you would still provide service at my pleasure.”

    “This remote can disable your body whenever I choose. You’ll remain awake but incapable of acting and moving. Should my considerable repairs and alterations prove to be faulty, I’ll simply shut you down and start again. A lengthy process that I don’t believe either one of us wish to revisit but one I will for the sake of completing my task. So I suppose the only way to test and see if I finished my alterations correctly is through a test.” With that, Maker crossed his arms behind his back. “. Carve me up, if you can. Trust that I will do nothing to prevent you from acting. So go on then…”

    “Flip that coin.”




    Gren flipped the back on his current book and then reached for a pencil, making a few notes on a loose piece of paper on the desk in front of him. He had just finished scribbling when he heard a knock on the door. “Come on in,” he said without looking up, adding an additional note to the paper as the door opened. “Just give me a minute here, Themmy, and then I’ll ride your ass over this table for--”

    He glanced out of the corner of his eye and found not the woman that he was just making an impromptu sexual comment to but rather Mercury. “Oh hey!” he said, smiling bright as he placed both the book and pencil down to stand up and greet her. His arms wrapped around her and he held her close to him. “Sorry, Themmy said earlier that she was gonna come in here to ‘distract’ me so I figured… you know.”

    When he finally let her go, lingering just as longer as she wanted, she asked how he had been and how Vriko had been as well. “You too, beautiful. I’ve been good; busy, mostly. This damn codex is about as useful as a broken clock but I ain’t gonna stop tryin’ to figure it out,” he said, gesturing to the tablet compendium. “Vriko is doin’ a’ight. Stubborn as ever but gettin’ stronger every day. She also calls me far less demeanin’ things so I feel like she’s takin’ a shinin’ to me,” he admitted with a grin. “Here, have a seat,” he said, gesturing towards the couch. Counting that she sat down, he would join her, sitting next to her but not directly next to her, giving her a bit of space.

    “How about you, how've you been? Seems like you’ve been as busy as me. I heard about uh… Genesis, I think was his name. Sounds like you lot are in quite the time crunch.”






    Words: 920/2164 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault  | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
    Position : None
    Posts : 683
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 7,124,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Gunblade Master
    Second Skill: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Skill:

    Reconciliation Empty Re: Reconciliation

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 4th December 2022, 9:08 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    There legitimately was no purpose to Mercury withholding from “waking up” outside of just wanting to fuck with the guy. She simply could not help herself. Even as he moved to double check his work on the monitors, Mercury threw herself into action, the bindings cutting her off from her magic but not her brute strength. In the blink of an eye she was on her feet in a readied stance, a makeshift weapon in hand, staring him down with the cold and unwavering gaze of a woman that had lived her entire life under war and oppression.

    But only a moment later after supposedly piecing together who he was, she was back to form, greeting him with a devilish smile and a bit of the banter he was used to hearing from her. Maker returned her expression, admitting in not so many words that he had at least missed the challenge she posed to him. Her death had robbed him of the opportunity to really test himself against her, and in studying her he determined he had the ability to bring her back. Though, not without consideration toward her disposition toward him. He gestured with the remote, stating that he made some alterations to her processor that would prevent her from harming him and even, he boasted, giving him some control over her actions.

    “Service at your pleasure, huh? Well, I suppose I am quite skilled in servicing, though if that was what you wanted I promise you wouldn’t have needed a control remote for that.” The Xocili had a reputation at this point for being a bit of a slut, which Maker would have been aware of a long time ago. And given that her displays of morality had always been gray at best, it wouldn’t be out of the question to assume that she’d more than happily skirt the line between hatred and arousal.

    He went on to confirm things that she was already aware of, that the remote would allow him to disable her body at his choosing, keeping her awake but unable to act. If he noticed any faults, he would simply shut her down and keep working, more than willing to spend whatever amount of time it took to perfect his little pet project. And the way he saw it, the only way to truly test it was to let her attack him. As such, Maker held his hands behind his back, leaving himself supposedly open as he invited her to make good on her threat to carve him up. He even promised he would do nothing to prevent her from doing so.

    Mercury eyed him very much like she was considering doing just that. “What a gentleman you are…” She walked casually toward him, more of a saunter than anything else, even as her gaze roamed him over with a hunger that could have been blood lust or something else entirely. Presuming he truly did not stop her, she would get within inches of him, slowly raising the metal shard and placing the tip against his chest and meticulously dragging it down his front without pressing hard enough to cut. The way she bit her lip would inform him that she was very much genuinely interested in seeing what he would look like in bloodied little ribbons on the floor. And yet…

    “However, there is no need. I’m not so easily baited, and I am fully aware of all your little changes. The moment you awoke me, I ran a little diagnostic on myself before taking any actions. And as morbidly curious as I am to see what kind of fun you’d get up to in handling me while I was unable to stop you from doing whatever your naughty little brain came up with…” Her gaze flicked up to his with a mischievous glimmer. “I think I’ve been in a vegetative state long enough, don’t you?”

    With one final tap of the tip of the shard against his chest, she broke away from him and tossed the shrapnel aside. Then, she started roaming the small lab, casually taking in the odds and ends that he had laying around without directly interacting with anything. “Your alterations to my processor are in effect, and I concede that to you. Not that you have to believe me, of course, but despite our virulent relationship, as you call it, I like to think that people like you and I are above such petty deceits. Besides, it is far more fun to simply test your changes against my own skills. Let’s rather see how long it takes me to break down and overwrite your little failsafe, shall we?”

    She threw him a teasing smirk over her shoulder. “So. You have me here now, for the moment subject to your whims. And while I certainly wonder over the wisdom of this little project of yours, my situation is what it is. What exactly can I do for you, darling?” Finding a container in the room with some fruit inside for snacking, she selected a piece before hopping up to sit on the counter. Crossing one knee comfortably over the other, she gave him an expectant look even as she bit into the treat.


    Gren was met with a devious little smirk. “Themmy, huh? I bet I could pull that off for you..”

    The man’s smile deepened upon realizing it was Mercury, putting down the book he was handling and coming around to embrace her. He explained that Themmy had promised to swing by at some point to distract him, and as such he had been more or less expecting her. “Well, maybe she’ll show up while I’m here and we’ll both get lucky. I’ll bet it wouldn’t take any convincing at all for Themmy to agree to tag team you with me.”

    They held one another for a few long seconds, Mercury breathing in his scent and letting it calm her well hidden nerves. She asked how he had been doing and he confirmed relatively well, all things considered. Mostly just busy working out the codex that Mercury had helped Vriko find. Vriko herself was about the same as she always seemed to be, though Gren could only assume that he was breaking down her walls since she wasn’t as consistently belittling toward him. Mercury chuckled. “Yeah, she’s a bit of a spitfire. I am entirely sure she hates me. Apparently she doesn’t think too highly of the fact that I’m engaged to your son but have a history of sleeping around with you. I may have also admitted that I’ve slept with basically Vandrad’s entire family at this point. I can’t wait to see her again, though. She was so delightfully irritable. It was like meeting Vandrad for the first time all over again.”

    At his invitation, she took a seat on the couch, the large man sitting near her as he turned the question around on her. “Yes, everything we learned from our encounter with Genesis has put us on a bit of a timer. Grubar was kind enough to give us the extra time that he did to work with Genesis, and I am grateful to him for it. I’m sure we’d have managed without Genesis, but his help is invaluable. It’s definitely kept me busy, but at the moment that’s more than welcome. Having to lay low and maintain being dead is quite restricting at times – as you’re more than well aware. So having something to do keeps me from going stir crazy, at least.”

    With a small chuckle, her demeanor softened. “I’m glad you’re here. I’ve been meaning to steal a few minutes of your time. I know I’ve.. been a little distant, lately. A lot happened in a very short amount of time and I… needed some time to decompress. I’m sure you didn’t take anything personally, but I didn’t want you to feel like I was… pushing you away or… or neglecting you.”

    Despite how much she had rehearsed this conversation in her head, Mercury was at a loss for words now that she was here. The woman simply had little to no experience with deep and meaningful conversation, save for the little she had learned over the last couple of years having Vandrad as a part of her life. Even then, it was only a few months ago that she had truly begun to understand things about herself, and that had all come right alongside a number of traumas that had taken up the forefront of her mind ever since.

    With a quieter tone, she found the strength to move on. “I wanted to talk to you about something. Well, a few things actually. Now that I am here, I really don’t know where to start, ha.” Mercury offered him a wry smirk and then continued. “I think you understand by now that I don’t exactly have much exposure to… healthy relationships. In all the time I’ve spent with Vandrad the last couple of years, I knew that he was influencing me in a number of ways, but I… didn’t have the prior experience to understand a lot of it, particularly my feelings.”

    “I’d never…” her voice trailed off for a moment, a small wave of sorrow washing over her. “I’d never had anyone in my life, before Vandrad. No family, no friends, no one I could trust. I was very good at getting along with people, but it was always a front. My job was to use them, and frankly that was all I ever knew how to do for a long time. I knew I cared for Vandrad, and I knew a lot of my feelings weren’t… exactly what one would call friendship… but it wasn’t until he told me that he loved me that I had a word for it. I knew the word love, of course, but I had never experienced it before. In any capacity. I didn’t know what it felt like, either to love someone or be loved by someone.”

    “And when he told me how he felt, it all sort of… clicked into place, you know? I finally understood. And honestly, I think that night was the happiest of my life, despite having almost lost him.”

    With a steady breath, she steeled herself, quelling the small tremor of anxiety and pushing forward. Mercury had a lot of things she wanted to talk to Gren about, and the things to come were arguably going to be harder than the current topic. “I’ve had a lot of time to think since then, and everything that’s happened put a lot of things into perspective for me. I love Vandrad more than anything, and I can’t imagine a life without him. But I’ve come to realize and accept… whether rightly or wrongly… he’s not the only one I care about.”

    Her gaze flicked up to him, then, meeting Gren’s eyes evenly, if perhaps with a small amount of vulnerability. “I know you and I have always… skirted the line of what other societies would consider proper. Okay, let’s be honest, we’ve blatantly thrown ourselves over that line without a whole lot of looking back.” Mercury smirked a bit, letting out a small laugh before sobering up again. “My place is beside your son. He’s my better half, and the one I want to spend a very long time growing old with… the one I want to build a family with and… be a partner to for the rest of our lives. And I know that you and Themmy have been rekindling things between yourselves, which makes me unbelievably happy for you both. But I need you to know I…”

    “I love you, Gren.”

    WORDS: 1957/3348 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 781
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 8,075,256

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Energy Monarch
    Second Skill: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Skill:

    Reconciliation Empty Re: Reconciliation

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 4th December 2022, 11:01 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Reconciliation RJtajUnz_o


    Oh Maker was well aware of how… promiscuous Mercury was. A woman with a reputation such as hers was usually looked down upon, especially in his former culture. Of course, he’d already learned the truth of his people; discovering that their long suppression of their lusty desires had resulted in quite the divide. And that wasn’t to say that Mercury was unattractive. For a Terran who had unlocked his vices and fed them whole and fully over the last couple of years, there was a certain appreciation for what Mercury enjoyed and seemed to freely offer. He really wasn’t that surprised to hear her putting forth the possibility of them getting frisky, despite what positions they stood upon as adversaries. But he opted not to answer her offer, the barest hint of a playful twinkle in his eyes but no verbal comment. No, he carried on his explanation and breakdown of what he was expecting and had put in place. At the end of it all, he decided to put her to the test -- offering her a free shot at taking him apart with the fragment she wielded without any repercussions.

    She complimented his gallant offer, sauntering towards him in a fashion that was distracting at best, tantalizing at worst. The way she eyed him, it was hard to tell whether he was a piece of meat to be sliced and diced or something more carnal. He stood without flinching, even as she came within mere inches of him and then brought up the tip of the shard and placed it against his chest. She did not press it deep enough to cut him, though it would surely unknit some of the material of his clothing enough to leave permanent marks. He watched her quietly as she seemingly weighed fulfilling whatever fantasy she had in her head… only for her to relent and admit that she saw no point and was not so easily goaded into action. She was more than aware of his changes, having run a diagnostic on herself to check for any kind of alterations. Though she was curious to see what Maker might have done without her being able to move, she believed she had been out for quite long enough. “I couldn’t agree more,” he replied with a small smirk.

    She tapped him once more with her makeshift weapon before turning away and disposing of it. As she stared to walk about the room, striding around as naked as a jaybird, she explained that his changes had taken effect and while he had no grounds to believe her, she believed the two of them are above lying at such petty levels. If anything, she was a bit excited to see how much she could poke and prod his changes until she’s able to overwrite his precautionary measures. “I wholeheartedly would like to see you try. I’m curious to see what the extent of your abilities are. Examinations and diagnostics do nothing to properly give credit to the miraculous nature of your body and form.”

    Easing up a little on his tension, he pressed a button on the remote and the device broke down into nanites, melting into his hand and wrapping around his wrist to form a metal band. Mercury continued, stating that she was subject to his orders at the moment and while she wasn’t sure what to make of his choice in the project, there was no helping what was already done. And then she asked what she could do, finding a fruit in one of the containers stored in the room and hopping up on the table to eat it while she looked at him. “There are many a task I could use your assistance on. But one step at a time; trust is earned, not given. And while I’ve done immense work to make sure you remain under my control and can’t contact the outside world, I am not such a fool to believe myself to be the perfect engineer when it comes to your biomechanical design. As I’m able to prove that I have more control over you than I believe right now, I’ll be more willing to allow you into deeper sanctums of my facility.” He approached her, stepping over the wreckage that she had caused with nary a look. As he stopped before her, his eyes chanced looking her over. “I suppose our first task should be to clothe you. Not much work will get done if I’m constantly distracted.” Maker’s own form of a compliment, it seemed. He reached out and gently cupped a hanging portion of her body, studying and admiring her flesh before he released her. “After that, we’ll review your databases for information on the Order of Souls, the Dread Masters, Vandrad du Wolff and the rest of his clan. I know for a fact that they survived the bomb I built and I’m curious to see if you have any indication of where they could be hiding.”

    Maker smirked at her. “Then there’s quite a substantial list of resources I need you to fetch.”




    “Hah! Trust me, there ain’t no universe where I’d say no to either one of you or both of ya, I’ll tell ya that,” Gren said with a laugh, happily embracing the much smaller woman and wrapping her up in his arms. After they had pulled away, he gave her a short update on himself and Vriko, with Mercury jumping on the second topic and stating that she was sure Vriko hated her. Apparently Mythal’s sister wasn’t a fan of the Xocili juggling father and son so evenly, her opinion made worse by Mercury’s admittance to having fooled around with almost all of Vandrad’s family. Despite all of that, she was excited to see Vriko again, genuinely amused at how grumpy she was and making a stark comparison between her and Vandrad. “Yeah, she uh, gave me what-for once she came back home. Or rather, she did after she went through music like some kind of teenager. I ain’t ever seen that girl have any emotion beyond angry and cocky but she was feelin’ some deep stuff after your joint venture at that floating casino. But I think she’s always just guarded, you know? She ain’t ever been around anythin’ beyond what her controlling mother let her and that was usually to go off and kill people. I don’t even think those assholes helped her when she was goin’ through changes or startin’ to question things. And now she’s older and irritable so I can’t exactly… approach her about it. Far as I can see, it’s best to just let her be until she’s ready to talk to me.”

    He invited her to sit down, sitting on the opposing cushion so that he could give her his entire attention as he asked about her and their time sensitive mission. She talked a little bit about Genesis, remarking that having the biological creation helped provide insight. It was keeping her busy; a welcome task as laying low and pretending to be dead was exhausting. He chuckled. “Yeah I know a little somethin’ about  that,” he agreed.

    After a moment, she looked back at him and said how happy she was that he was there. She’d been hoping to find some time to spend with him and addressed the fact that she had been distant. There had been a lot that had happened and she needed some time to process. She didn’t believe he had taken it personally but she also didn’t want to feel like she was pushing him away or anything. “Not at all. You had to do what you had to do to get better and there ain’t anythin’ wrong with that. I’m more than happy to let you process however ya gotta. I ain’t gonna say I didn’t miss ya but knowin’ you were working through stuff and had help from Van made me happy, ya know?” There was no denying that he’d longed to spend more time with her, having gotten close to her and bonded with her deeply. But Gren was an understanding man and knew that whatever troubles and issues she had brought home needed to be handled and she would be the only one that knew who to lean on for that.

    She pressed on, saying that she had wanted to talk to him about many things but found herself lacking a good jumping off point, flashing him a brief smirk of dry amusement before she continued. She spoke of how she had a feeling he understood that she hadn’t been exposed to healthy relationships. Vandrad had been the one that had started influencing her, opening her eyes to things she had never really been aware of or had a history with. She’d never had anyone in her life before Vandrad entered it. She played the role of a social butterfly but it had been an act; a part of her mission to use them for information and then move on. It was all she knew or cared about until she’d begun to care for Vandrad. She’d understood that her feelings for the former prince weren’t just friendship but she’d lacked a definition until he’d told her that he loved her. It had been an eye-opening moment for her; the word and the feelings suddenly coming together in complete and utter explanation. She finally knew what it felt like to be loved and to love someone else and it had proven to be the happiest night of her life, despite how it had very nearly ended.

    That had been a year ago and since then, she’d had plenty of time to think. Considering all she had gone through, her perspective had expanded, grown and evolved. She knew she loved Vandrad wholeheartedly and couldn’t imagine her present or future without him but with all that she had reflected on, she had realized that, for better or for worse, he was not the only one that she had feelings for. Gren’s breath nearly caught in his throat, his heart pounding in his chest so loudly that he was sure she could hear out. Her gaze met his, the Xocili vulnerable and open and the former Knight perhaps just as much. She understood that the two of them had played with, jumped over and left the line of acceptable societal means. They had never really stopped to think about it, caught up in a flurry of lust, excitement and even more complicated feelings. She stated clearly that her place was with Vandrad; she wanted to spend the rest of his and her life together and to have a family with. And she understood that Gren and Themesycia had begun a romance that seemed to grow more and more each day, a fact that made her incredibly happy. But despite all of that, she needed him to hear that she loved him.

    He was quiet for a moment, the sound of his blood rushing in his ears. He wasn’t even sure he’d heard it right. After that momentary silence, he let out a raw chuckle as he stared at the space on the couch between them. “Ya know… I’d flipped a mental coin that night. The night you and I went back to your place in Bellum. Part a’ me was sayin’ I needed to quit while I was ahead, that I’d already pushed the envelope too far. I thought I was just thinkin’ with my dick, havin’ a beautiful young woman lookin’ at me with such desire. But I think even then I felt somethin’ with ya. A kind of connection that I couldn’t explain.”

    He looked up at her. “It ain’t right what we’d done and continued doin’, at least by normal standards. But what’s normal? The only thing that woulda bothered me is if it had upset Vandrad and he didn’t care. He told me ‘you’re my father, Gren, but it’s past the time since I needed a father. You’ve been dead a long time so try to enjoy having your life back.’ His way of… givin’ me permission, I guess,” Gren said with another laugh, rubbing the back of his head. “I love ya too, Mercury. I know it’s complicated, even with the approvals of Vandrad and Themmy, but I know what I feel and that makes it right as far as I’m concerned. I’ve loved ya for some time and I don’t think anythin’ would make me stop lovin’ ya. But I love Vandrad and Themmy too and I would never try to steal ya from him, no matter how many times we may joke about it in bed.”

    After his own confession, he let out a deep breath. “Gods, I’ve been holdin’ that inside for a long time.”






    Words: 2137/4301 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault  | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
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    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Gunblade Master
    Second Skill: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Skill:

    Reconciliation Empty Re: Reconciliation

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 5th December 2022, 12:50 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    It seemed Maker was in agreement that Mercury had been out of commission for long enough. He elected not to force the issue of testing his coding, for now choosing to take her at her word in assuring him that her lack of interest in attempting to harm him was simply because she already knew what the end result would be. Dumping the makeshift weapon aside, she browsed idly about the room before finding something in the room that she could eat, sitting herself up on a cleared area of counter space. The Engineer confirmed that he was genuinely eager to see her try to overwrite his alterations, both as a means of studying what she was capable of and, in so doing, test his own skills against her own.

    He collapsed the remote into bits of nano technology that wrapped itself around his wrist. Mercury took a mental note of the ability but otherwise chose to ignore it and instead focus on his answer to her question. Maker told her that he had a number of uses in mind for her, though the slack on her leash was entirely dependent on her ability to earn his trust. He was certain that he had her under control, but until he knew how well that control had taken root she would be confined to limited areas of his lab.

    Mercury watched him as he approached, happily chewing softly away on the fruity snack she’d stolen before him like this were any other exchange between friends. He admitted that the first step was likely clothe her, if only so that she posed as less of a distraction, even he reached out and familiarized himself with her on a more physical level. The Xocili smirked without making any effort to stop him or pull away. “Well, you’re no fun.” From there, he released her and continued, stating that his first official order of business would be to review her data for any information that might help him locate Vandrad, the du Wolffs, or what remained of either the Order of Souls or the Dread Masters. He even admitted that he knew they had survived the bomb he’d set, so he was eager to see if she had any information about where they could have gone to ground. Aside from that, he had a number of resources he wished for her to collect for him.

    “Ah, so I was right. You did stand me up for Themmy. I was rather hurt by you sending a bunch of unbelievably dull lackies after me instead of coming to play with me personally, you know. It’s like you don’t care about me at all.” The small huff she gave was certainly playful, but only a moment later did her expression shift into something more akin to light frustration, or perhaps even insecurity. Her gaze glanced away and in a bit quieter tone Mercury admitted, “Though I suppose the force was… adequate enough. Clearly.” While she wasn’t thrilled with it, it appeared that she did not consider herself above owning up to the facts, even if they didn’t paint the prettiest picture of her supposed capabilities.

    Still, the emotional change provided her a good segue into addressing other matters of more serious note. It was clear some of the information he’d passed along was bothering her more than she cared to pretend otherwise. “I don’t suppose you’d be courteous enough to tell me what you know of what happened to everyone else..?” Afterall, given how simultaneous the attacks were, Mercury would have been killed before she had a chance to hear what had befallen her loved ones. He had likely received the report from the survivors of those who had attacked her confirming that she had worked out that there had been more than one ambush, but even if they hadn’t relayed her commentary to him Maker likely assumed she had pieced as much together on her own during the battle.


    It was unsurprising to hear that Vriko had taken Gren to task when she’d returned home, the spicy woman not exactly concerned about speaking her mind at any given point in time. Though apparently she’d had a bit of an emotional episode after the mission that had resulted in her turning to music as an outlet. It was curious, certainly, but Gren hadn’t really pushed Mythal’s sister on it so there was no point in trying to dig for details.

    Instead she turned the topic toward other things, pushing forward into a territory that the both of them had avoided for a very long time.  It took Mercury a bit to get to the meat of what she wanted to say, but she felt it was important for him to have context so as to fully understand where she was coming from. Though she couldn’t actually hear his heart beating, she could see his pulse increase rapidly in her sensors as he began to get an inkling of where this was heading. It took some courage, but Mercury finally got everything she’d been feeling off her chest, saying the words that she needed to say so he knew how important he was to her.

    The admission certainly struck him, the large man quiet for a long moment as he focused on keeping himself reigned in. Mercury gave him as long as he needed, not wanting to pressure him into a response – any kind of response. Eventually, Gren gave a somewhat rough sounding chuckle and admitted that the night they’d had their little date, he’d had to flip a metaphysical coin to decide how far he was going to let the evening progress. A part of him tried to argue and reason that he needed to back out before he did anything he’d regret, but the part of him that wanted to engage her was far larger and more influential. He’d wanted to chalk it all up to long overdue hormones getting a chance to let loose, but even then he’d recognized that there was something more brewing between them.

    Gren finally looked back at her then, stating that while their situation was hardly normal by traditional standards, but normalcy was ultimately a relative concept. All that mattered to him was that their liaisons with one another didn’t bother Vandrad, which they both knew it didn’t. The prince had made it very clear to both of them that he didn’t care, even going out of his way to more or less give his blessing to the pair. The older man admitted his own feelings then, telling Mercury that he loved her too, even in spite of how likely that was to complicate a lot of things. But the complications didn’t negate his feelings, nor did they make them any less valid. By his own words, he’d been in love with her for a long time and nothing was ever going to change that, even if it was tempting to make good on their little jokes about running away together.

    Mercury gave a quiet but authentic chuckle, her soft smile bright and perhaps a bit on the shy side. Even as he let out a breath and claimed his relief over no longer having to hold all of that in, she reached over and took his hand, holding the limb and giving it a bit of a squeeze. “You and me both, buddy.” A moment later, she scooted over and closed the distance between them so she could lean into him, wrapping an arm around his waist and simply embracing him for a long minute or two.

    When she did finally pull away, Mercury remained close to him but he would note that her eyes were having trouble meeting his and her countenance had become a bit more crestfallen. “I’m glad we were able to talk about that. And it means more than I could ever tell you to know that you feel the same way I do. But… there’s more that I want to talk to you about and… unfortunately, the rest of what I have to say isn’t going to be easy to talk about… or for you to hear.”

    She was showing visible signs of distress at this point, chewing on her lip a little as she searched for the words – or maybe the strength – to begin. This close, he’d be able to feel that her body was trembling a bit. “As you know, Vandrad and Themmy convinced me to start seeing a therapist after we all got back from the flotilla. I already had a lifetime's worth of traumas to work through even before Trinity… Thana… kidnapped me. And I only experienced more while I was gone. Knowing Vandrad, he probably didn’t tell you some of what we talked about. The Nazru forced my dad to torture me for a very long time in the hopes of trying to get information out of me. None of us knew he was my dad at the time, of course – that was just his job. They were going to… going to force him to run a procedure on me that would have effectively been a lobotomy, stripping me of my memories of my time on Earthland and before, wiping the slate clean and starting me over.”

    As it had been with Vandrad, the knowledge of the lengths the Nazru were willing to go to control her would likely be a tough and infuriating pill to swallow, even if it had not come to fruition. If only that were the extent of the horrible things she’d endured. With a shaky gulp, Mercury steeled herself and carried on. “My memory of all the things that happened to me on that trip are hazy at best. Which has been a bit of a struggle for me to cope with in and of itself. I’ve known for a long time that I’ve had PDST from my upbringing, even if I didn’t have a word for it and didn’t fully recognize it for what it was. But I’ve always been able to move on and it never truly hindered me. But many of the things that happened, I had such a rough time rationalizing it that my memories of certain events became corrupted or went missing entirely – something that has never happened to me before. Something that, up until recently, I had assumed wasn’t possible for a Xocili.”

    “There were some things I hadn’t talked to anyone about, including my therapist and Vandrad. And if the choice had been left up to me, I may not have talked about it still… but somehow, that fucking bitch of a warlord knew what had happened to me, even though she wasn’t there, and she told Vandrad and Mythal before they killed her.” A rush of intense anger cut through her sorrow and anxiety, the Silver Wolf ace clearly beyond bitter that Thana had taken her chance to talk about the things that had happened on her own time, by her own terms, and in so doing had forced Mercury to be retraumatized all over again.

    Mercury realized she was crying, silent tears dripping slowly down her cheeks. She reached up and wiped them away, though that did little to stop new ones from coming. “On the trip to the flotilla, I tried a couple of times to talk Khelben into taking me back to Earthland, and giving us a chance to try and fight back against the Nazru. At some point I managed to shake the magic-canceling cuffs he had me in and we got into a fight. I almost killed us both by accident. I ripped a massive hole in the hull of the ship by mistake and had to scramble to use my magic to patch it up before we either got sucked out into space or died of asphyxiation. While I was distracted dealing with that, he managed to get the nullifiers back on me, and at that point I was done trying to get through to him. We got into a full blown argument, and I… I said a lot of mean things. Nothing that wasn’t true, as far as I’m concerned, but I really… really went out of my way to get under his skin and piss him off, and he…”

    Mercury took another breath, even as the tears dripped out of her eyes with more vigor. “He raped me.”

    She used the back of her hand to wipe away a bit of snot that was starting to leak from her nose. “I didn’t tell anyone at first because my recollection of it was so shaky I wasn’t entirely sure it had happened. And then when I found out he was my brother, it… complicated talking about it with anyone. I didn’t want to ruin his relationship with my dad when they were all they’d had left for so long. And as much as it hurt, and as stupid and crazy as I’m sure it sounds… he’s still my brother. I never had any family before, and I just… I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to lose what little I had managed to gain, you know?”

    “When Vandrad found out, he went ballistic. He almost killed him. My dad managed to contact me in time to stop it, but by the time I got there my dad had also found out what had happened and had also lost his shit. I managed to talk them down, but… my dad still had Vandrad throw Khelben in jail.”

    WORDS: 2250/5598 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
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    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Energy Monarch
    Second Skill: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Skill:

    Reconciliation Empty Re: Reconciliation

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 5th December 2022, 9:26 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Reconciliation RJtajUnz_o


    Whether he was fun or not was hardly the matter at the moment. He knew himself and knew that her nakedness would prove a distraction. It seemed Mercury would only have enjoyed the opportunity to tease him with the matter but that was neither here nor there. Clothing her being set aside, the first official task he would need to undertake was reviewing what information she had retained about the two shadow organizations she had become familiar with, as well as the ins and outs of the du Wolff family. He’d been well aware that the family of Vandrad had survived the bomb attack, simply by the fact that the former prince himself was still around and wasn’t actively on a warpath to get to Maker. Then again, Mercury being gone should have concerned him as well, given how seemingly close they were. Perhaps he just believed her kidnapped, which he supposed, in a way, she was.

    Mercury spoke up, admitting that she had been right in assuming that he had swapped his focus from her to Themescyia. She feigned hurt at having been the target of uninteresting lackeys rather than himself, making it seem like he didn’t care at all about her. She was being playful for a moment before the realization of her situation settled in and she looked more frustrated, admitting that clearly the lackeys had proved sufficient enough to get their task done. Smirking, he reached out and gently cupped her cheek, turning her to face him. “Ah, you make it sound like I don’t know how to reward those that catch my eye. Don’t worry, I have quite the present for you to make up for all the ugliness you had to experience. But we’ll worry about that shortly.” Giving her face a soft stroke, he dropped his arm and tucked it behind his back.

    She was a bit more serious after that and as she looked back to him, she asked if he would be courteous enough to grant her knowledge of what happened to the others. He presumed she meant the others that had been targeted during the Dread Master’s operation. “Courteous enough,” he stated, gently nodding towards the door in silent invitation for her to follow him. Counting that she did, he would lead her out of the room, turn right and head down the hallway. She’d find herself in an impressively manufactured hallway, smithed with metal fabrications that seemed to be beyond the expertise of Earthland. “As I said before, I’m aware that du Wolffs survived their plight. How many of them survived, I do not know; at this point, I can only assume all of them. Vandrad and Scourge’s fight came to a draw and, as luck would have it, Scourge himself turned on the Dread Masters and led Vandrad to the main barracks of the Dread Masters. There were no survivors. I know not of what happened after the Order of Souls were wiped out. I know that many of their standing forces were killed or assimilated into our own numbers but it’s believed that the leader of the Order and Gren Ragnos, Vandrad’s father, were slain there. Unfortunately, I do not trust belief, especially when I do not have proof and there was a severe lack of that in the remains of the base.”

    He turned down another hallway. “So in conclusion, it seemed that the Dread Master’s grand sweeping gesture failed, save for the single limb that went after you. And even then, I believe that was more out of luck than anything else. I do hope that provides a satisfying update for you,” he added, giving her a glance over his shoulder before he came to a stop before a door. “And now, my dear, for your gift. I couldn’t help but notice your delightfully savage methods of dispatching of that Midian princess and her family and the way you broke into the Dread Master’s laboratory looking for me. It was truly extraordinary how vicious you could get. And so I wanted to offer you the opportunity to get some… well-earned revenge.”

    He waved his hand in front of the door and it hissed open, revealing a medium sized laboratory. The lab itself was exactly what she might have expected to see but the main focus of the room was the operating table, tilted vertically, in the center of the room. Several machines were hooked up to a body strapped to the table, naked and dismantled. She was missing portions of her arms and legs, her right arm and left leg completely gone to the shoulder and hip. The voids where flesh had been extracted had been covered by machinery, keeping her from bleeding out but doing nothing to ease her pain. Despite her terrible condition, it would not be hard for Mercury to tell that this was Zifu Kuttuvan, Chishan’s former wife and co-leader of the Order of Souls.

    “Queen Zifu here personally reached out to the Dread Masters, asking that she join their cause. She believed that her husband had grown soft and lacked the confidence to dispatch the gods and demons the humans fear so much. She agreed to lead the assault on the Order of Souls and was the one to skewer both Chishan and Gren Ragnos in either a successful or failed assassination attempt. She even helped provide some information on the du Wolffs and Vandrad, though not to any extent that mattered. Whatever the case, she aided the Dread Masters without pause, never attempting to barter for anyone’s life. She slew her former comrades as if they had been her enemies for some time.” Maker turned his gaze from his subject back to Mercury. “I’ve taken what I need from her and now no longer have use for her. But considering how much she has done against those you care about… I figured it was far more appropriate to allow you the opportunity to dispatch her. However slowly and drawn-out you desire.”

    The Terran gave Mercury a wicked, toothy smirk. “My only condition is that you allow me the opportunity to watch you for a bit. I would very much like to see your work with my own eyes rather than through recorded footage.”




    Gren had never thought, in any of his wildest dreams, that he would have said the words. Of course, he’d thought it plenty of times and knew deep in his heart, in his soul, how he felt about Mercury. But it was just too complicated, too complex to speak of outloud. He wouldn’t begin to rationalize what would otherwise be a ridiculous pairing with actual spoken words. He’d settled into believing that they would both understand it on an emotional, unspoken level and would just leave it at that. Yet if there was on guarantee in life, it was that the best laid plans generally meant shit to the flow of reality.

    After everything she had gone through, it had made her think about all the matters of her life. And because of that, it had made her realize that she needed to speak what she felt and tell him how she truly cherished him. The look on his face as she said the words was one of genuine surprise and shock, not out of misunderstanding but more over the fact that she had addressed it. Even then, he looked like he wanted to just acknowledge her statement in agreement and move on but once more, his better nature won out and forced him to open up. And so he spoke from the heart, a completely improvised speech that he’d never even thought to prepare in case. At the end of it all, he professed his love for her as well and honestly, earnestly, felt better for it. She agreed, taking his hand and then scooting into him so that she could hold him close. He melted into her, a truly remarkable action for a man of his size against a woman of hers, but he did truly lean on her then, finding comfort in how close she was. After a few minutes, she pulled away enough so that she could, at least, speak again without being muffled against his chest.

    Any sign of relief on her face had passed, giving way to a sadness that was, at the moment, unexplainable. She was happy that she was able to finally speak to him about their feelings because apparently there was more and it was not going to be an easy, uplifting revelation that awaited him. His brow furrowed slightly in concern but he remained focused on her nonetheless, now giving her even more attention than before. She was distressed and he gave her hand affirming squeeze, as she opened up about Vandrad and Themmy encouraging her to see a therapist. He’d been aware, though the particulars of why remained unknown at the time. She admitted that she had more trauma to work through than most people could even dream and that was before Thana had kidnapped her. She opened up a bit about what had happened on the flotilla; of her father torturing her without knowledge of who she was and how she had very nearly been lobotomized.

    Her memory, beyond that, had been a haze, of sorts. Her memories had been corrupted -- something that she made sound impossible for her kind -- and she hadn’t been able to fully recognize what it was or meant. She continued, explaining that there had been things that she had kept secret and had she had her way, she may have let sleeping dogs lie without ever speaking up about them. But Thana had ripped open the secret and revealed it to Vandrad and Mythal before her death, unsealing any attempt to keep her trauma as her own. Tears fell silently from her eyes as she recalled trying to reason with Khelben on the trip to the flotilla, doing everything she could to bring him around to her way of thinking. She managed to slip her cuffs but, in the following fight, she nearly sent them both into the void of space. She managed to save them both but it cost her freedom as Khelben once more got her in cuffs. Her sense of reason was gone and she apparently got into a heated argument with him, which brought about several vile things from her mouth aimed at him. She’d done such work on getting under his skin that he had lost all reason as well and, after a moment to catch her breath, she revealed that he had raped her.

    There… truly was no preparation or groundwork that can prepare anyone to hear that someone they care about, someone they love, had been violated so maliciously. Gren’s breath once more caught in his throat and his heart all but stopped as he stared, wide-eyed, at Mercury’s tear-stricken face and shaking body. Words failed him as she went on, explaining that she hadn’t even been sure it had happened with her memory as hazy as it was. And finding out that he was her brother made it even more complicated, with Mercury not wanting to abolish the relationship between her father and brother, with all the history they’d had. And, even more than that, he was her brother and despite his disgusting, perverse actions, she’d never had a family before. Losing it, after getting it, seemed impossible.

    But once Vandrad found out, he had come back to the island like a calamitous storm. Gren could still recall Themmy telling him of the damage and horror Vandrad had instilled into the island and it’s people, a walking ball of furious flame. All the former Knight had learned was that a conflict had occurred and the result was Khelben in prison. Mercury illuminated the missing details, stating that her dad had managed to contact her in time to keep it from getting worse but her father had found out the truth by the time she arrived. She brought what could only be described as a peace but Khelben was still unceremoniously tossed in a jail cell and left.

    Gren wasn’t even aware that he, too, was crying. Silent tears rolled down his cheeks and disappeared into his beard. He squeezed her hand tight. “Mercury… I’m so sorry,” he said softly, his voice weak and gentle like it had never been before. “I know pity is pro’lly the last thing you want or need. But Gods, that is just… awful.” He sniffled and reached up to wipe his cheeks against his wrist. “I don’t even have words.” That was all he managed for a few moments, as the real weight of everything he’d heard pressed down on him with the force of the planet itself. “I can’t say I blame Vandrad for actin’ the way he did, though he really shoulda spoken to you first. But hearin’ that from that woman… it pro’lly sent him into such a frenzy that he couldn’t even process.”

    He wiped his face once more. “I’m sorry that happened, Mercury. And I’m more sorry that it was forced outta ya like that. But I am happy to hear that you’re getting the help you deserve. You were put in an impossible situation, where there didn’t seem to be a right answer. Anyone woulda frozen up but you held on and kept movin’ forward, tryin’ to deal with it yourself. It’s commendable, to a point. But it’s okay to be hurt and be confused and need help too. We all need it sometimes.”

    He raised her hand to his face and kissed it gently. “And I’m proud of you for followin’ through. Other people would have run away and hid where no one woulda ever found them. But yer still here. I’m sure ya got a long path ahead and no matter what, I woulda been here for you, whatever you needed. But now that you’ve shared this with me, please know you can come to me for anythin’. I’ll support ya in any fashion you want, as I always have.”






    Words: 2352/4301 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault  | © marzia at shine & gs.


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    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
    Position : None
    Posts : 683
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    Experience : 7,124,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Gunblade Master
    Second Skill: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Skill:

    Reconciliation Empty Re: Reconciliation

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 6th December 2022, 3:55 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    Once more, Mercury didn’t resist or pull away from him as he reached out to touch her, Maker’s hand cupping her cheek not unlike a lover, gently turning her to face him once more. He didn’t exactly seem the type to deliver such displays of softness, whether genuinely or mockingly, but then again it may have just been because it was her. Based on the way he had interacted with her “body” while attempting to revive her, it was obvious that he had some sort of perverse infatuation with her. Mercury returned his smirk with an even look as he informed her not to worry, promising that he had things in store for her as gifts for catching his interest, which it seemed he planned on providing her sooner rather than later.

    She said nothing in response, appearing to settle in the seriousness of the situation she was in, at least for now. After a moment, however, the Xocili asked if he would be willing to at least catch her up on what had happened to everyone else during the fight, and to his credit he obliged. At his silent gesture, Mercury took one last bite of her snack and hopped down from the counter to follow him, tossing what was left of the fruit in a trashcan along the way. They stepped out into an immaculate hallway that was crafted from non Earthland metals. He explained to her that he was confident that the du Wolffs survived his attack, though he couldn’t say for sure how many of them had survived. He presumed all of them, but he had not been able to verify it at this point in time. Vandrad and Scourge had battle their way to a draw from which Scourge turned his back on the Dread Masters and instead allied himself with the Bellum prince, taking him to one of their larger barracks and helping him obliterate it, decimating a large chunk of the Dread Master forces.

    Mercury frowned in thought over the notion, but otherwise remained silent as she followed along after him without interrupting. The attack on the Order of Souls was where he had the least details. He knew that their group either submitted to the Dread Masters or were subsequently executed, and it was presumed that Chishan and Gren were dead. That was the only moment where Mercury would seem to falter, her gait stopping briefly at the insinuation that Vandrad’s father had been killed even as her breath hitched ever so gently. Then, appearing to force herself under control, she carried on with following him. He had no proof that either man had died, so while that was the official ruling it seemed that Maker, himself, was holding out room for skepticism. As they turned a corner, he wrapped up with stating that the Masters’ plot had ultimately been relatively unsuccessful, save for the arm of the operation that had been sent after Mercury herself – which he firmly believe was luck more than anything else. Mercury gave a soft huff. “Well, one can hardly call it a fair fight when you’re outnumbered twenty to one. I’m all for a rousing gang bang, but you have to admit, it was hardly sporting."

    It was only a moment later that they arrived at their new destination. Maker stopped them outside the mysterious door, informing her that it was time for her gift. She narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously but otherwise remained silent as he explained how he’d observed some of her more unhinged behaviors in the past, particularly with Sabine and the lab where she had encountered both him and Scourge. He claimed to be fascinated with how vicious she was capable of being, and wished to offer her a chance to get some revenge. Her gaze flicked to the doorway as it slid open, and the sight that met her caused the clone’s eyes to widen ever so slightly, though there was otherwise no overbearing reaction one way or another. After all, as far as Maker was aware, Mercury had not lived long enough to have learned the truth. As such, the most she could do was observe the figure in the center of the room with recognition and confusion, turning to give the Terran a questioning glance.

    Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away in Silver Wolf, the real Mercury had fully sat up in her bed. The instant she had laid eyes on Zifu through the clone’s perspective, a deep burning rage of hatred ignited within her. The Xocili was practically trembling at the sight of the woman, or at least what was left of her. She was spread out in parts and pieces on a laboratory table, with parts of or even entire limbs removed from her torso. Against all reason and logic, Mercury was overwhelmed with the desire to be in that room herself, weighing the risks of attempted to transpose herself with the clone for the chance to confront the woman directly. Maker was serving the queen on a golden platter for Mercury’s consumption, and despite her better judgment, she was all too eager to accept.

    Unfortunately, she had a role to play. Mercury could not afford to be selfish to the point of risking the integrity of her mission, now matter how badly she wanted to. So instead, she seethed in the comfort and privacy of her own room while her clone maintained the perfect mask of wariness as she waited for Maker to explain himself. He wasted no time in doing so, stating that Zifu had come to the Dread Masters of her own volition to ally herself to them, claiming that Chishan was no longer fit to do what she felt needed to be done. It was she who personally led the assault on the Order of Souls and brought mortal injury to Chishan and Gren both, whether or not they survived. She had even provided information to them about Vandrad and the du Wolffs, though that had paled in comparison to her other efforts. Ultimately, she had been unrepentant in her decision and made no attempt to spare any of the lives of those who trusted her, and in fact killed many of them personally. Maker had already collected what he needed from her – her thoughts and knowledge, Mercury presumed – but he had elected to give what was left of her to Mercury for the Silver Wolf Ace to do with as she wished… no matter how long it took.

    And it was clear that his story had an effect, Mercury’s gaze practically laser focused on the woman, her nostrils flaring as her anger rose along with the beats of his tale. The hatred in her eyes damn near bordered on crazed, though she remained fixated where she was for the time being. Maker concluded by stating that his only requirement for letting Mercury work was that he get to watch for a time, wishing to see the woman at work with his own eyes rather than through a monitor.

    Mercury was quiet for a long time until she eventually set her hard gaze back on Maker. “Let’s make one thing clear: You and I both know that I am hardly going to make it easy for you to get what you want out of me; something I am sure you are looking forward to. So whatever this gesture is meant to be, it does not placate the fact that you are just as much, if not more so, responsible for everything that’s happened. I will not be controlled.” There was a pregnant pause after her final statement as she held his gaze with unerring defiance. But the look lasted only a minute before it relaxed into her more trademark smirk once more, the expression as dark, foreboding, and predatory as he was surely hoping to see. “That being said, I won’t pretend I don’t want what you’re offering me. So if a show is what you’re looking for, then consider it my thanks. I suggest pulling up a seat. I did not get to spend as much time as I wanted on dear little Sabine, so I plan on taking my sweet time.”

    With that, she walked away and strode toward Zifu in a calm and confident manner, looking over the woman’s predicament with a satisfied and malicious smile. “Now, what do we have here?” Mercury crooned sweetly, walking a slow circle around the table where Zifu laid and carefully examining the set up. “There’s a delightful little phrase you Earthlings favor: ‘Oh, how the mighty have fallen.’ How fitting that is, don’t you think?”

    “I wish I could say I’m surprised to hear about everything you did, but from the moment we met I knew what you were… and the truth is, I hated you from the start. Chishan certainly deserved better. But, for the sake of Mythal and Serilda, I chose to play nice. Not that  behaved myself, mind you. At this point I can only assume that you have been made aware of my being an extraterrestrial as well, but if not: surprise! All that time you spent in such shock over how I had personal encounters with beings from other planets, and you were right there with an alien yourself all along! And you know what the truly tickling part of all this is?”

    She leaned down to make sure her face was within inches of the queen’s, giving her an innocent smile. “You were so transfixed on everything with your silly gods and demons and the threat they posed to your world, and all this time the one you should have been worried about was me.” Finding the controls for the table, Mercury lowered the incline until it was fully flat. Then, she leaned onto the platform’s surface, her elbows on either side of Zifu’s head as she smiled down at the woman from above. “You wanna hear a secret? Something that Maker doesn’t  know? Something that not even Vandrad, Mythal, and Serilda know?”

    Her voice had quieted a bit like they were swapping gossip like old school mates, though she wasn’t speaking so quietly that Maker wouldn’t hear quite clearly. In fact, the Xocili shot him a mischievous look, taking a moment to draw out the anticipation. “There’s an entire race of aliens out there called the Nazru. Nasty creatures, the Nazru. Nigh invincible, powerful beyond belief, and strung up their asses over the concept of organic supremacy and evolution. They have genocided entire planets, including my own. To my knowledge, I’m one of the last of my people. And I work for them. Oh, how she grinned, certain that not even Maker would have suspected such a depraved and twisted secret. “You see, that’s why I came to this planet in the first place. They sent me here to blend in and study your cultures in order to determine if your way of life was heretical or worth sparing. And it’s not the first planet I’ve ever surveyed. In fact, there are six empty husks of planets floating around out there, thanks to me. My body count far overshadows our darling Maker’s, here. And I know you can’t see it from here, but that little reveal has made him rather… excited.

    Mercury’s eyes gave a meaningful flick below the man’s belt before returning to Zifu, her expression altering severely. Gone was her playful sadism and in its place was an unbridled darkness that went beyond merely unhinged as she slowly pulled a wheeled table over that had an array of medical instruments on it.  “But you, my dear, have much worse crimes to answer for, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t give a shit about ninety-eight percent of this backwater planet, but one of the people I do happen to care very deeply for is Gren Ragnos… You are going to pay for everything you’ve done, and more. And it's going to last for a long… long... time.”


    Despite the fact that she had already at least broached the topic with Vandrad – whether willingly or not – it hadn’t done much to prepare her for talking about it again. By the time she finished revealing everything that had happened, both of them were in tears. He squeezed her hand and offered her his condolences, which honestly was the most he could do aside from listen, which he had already done.

    Mercury leaned against him once more, this time for comfort. Gren spoke up to sat that Vandrad probably should have gone to her first, but he understood why he had likely acted outside his normal wits. “I wasn’t upset with him… I probably would have done the same thing, in his shoes… And he felt so bad afterward. I know he wishes he’d handled it differently, but… what’s done is done.”

    The former Rune Knight expressed his sorrow that she had gone through the experience, and that her choice to bring it to light was robbed from her, but ever the optimist he elected to focus on the positives. Namely, that she was going to therapy and getting the help she needed. He was also proud of her for taking steps to heal and carry on where most would have crumbled. That being said, he also told her it was okay to feel the hurt and confusion from it all. And Mercury knew that, of course, but sometimes the reminders were nice. Gren kissed the back of her hand, grateful that she was still there and informing her that, no matter what he would be there for anything she needed.

    “Thank you,” she whispered, grateful for his words even if she didn’t really know how to express how much it meant to her. From there, Mercury was content to just sit with him, being close to one another and finding comfort in each other’s presence. Once the tears were spent and she was feeling well enough, only then would she let him get back to what he was doing – or at least, as much as he’d be able to after everything. And while it certainly wasn’t the appropriate time to initiate anything more, Mercury was sure to give him a long, soft, passionate kiss before she left, something they hadn’t shared since before Vandrad had proposed to her over a year ago. with one final word of thanks, she’d give him a gentle smile and exited the office, leaving him to his own devices once more.

    WORDS: 2426/8024 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



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      Current date/time is 22nd June 2024, 5:41 am