Author Topic: After Hours  (Read 12681 times)

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Offline Trillian

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Re: After Hours
« Reply #30 on: July 18, 2019, 09:50:49 AM »
Ben shook the doctor's hand and left the office, feeling a mixture of shame, guilt and futility. He was all the way down the corridor close to the stairs when he realised he hadn't told James about a change of rooms for his next prophecy lecture. His current one was too small for the amount of people who'd signed up for next week's question time so he would be using the lecture hall. He debated letting Ichabod take care of it, but Ben was already here and he didn't want to start avoiding the doctor.

He turned and headed back to James' office.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Black Philip

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Re: After Hours
« Reply #31 on: July 18, 2019, 10:12:49 AM »
When Ben reentered James's office, the doctor's feet was up on his desk and he was smoking. His tie, glasses and cuff links were all off. His professional looking hair had been fussed with and with was now disorganized, but very cute. Upon seeing Ben, Jimmy through up his hands.

"There you are," he said. "If you wanted prophecy you went to the wrong Barrow!"

He spun in his chair like a five year old. His eyes were glowing brightly, and if Ben listened closely he would hear voices whispering in the room.

"I have a riddle for you Bennie boy," Jimmy said, sounding like it was going to be such a fun game. "I call it the riddle of three dragons!"

"Three dragons walk into a bar. The first orders tea. The second says, 'I'll have what she's having. I can't have things of my own.' The third dragon says, 'I want everything they have and more.' Part one of the riddle; who are the three dragons?"
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

Offline Trillian

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Re: After Hours
« Reply #32 on: July 18, 2019, 10:21:46 AM »
Ben blinked at seeing Barrow smoking. Smoking wasn't allowed inside the Academy for a start, but it wasn't just that and the other physical cue of his feet up - Barrow even looked different, like someone else was wearing his face. Unbeknownst to Barrow, because Ben hadn't told him (or anyone) about it, Ben had some personal experience with such a thing, having being possessed by an Earth Spirit through an ancient artefact and ritual. When he'd been freed, the Spirit had taken his form, and so Ben had split into two people... literally... and had been forced to watch his likeness running around in his body... and watching the other Ben (Jack) take up his relationship with Kerr.

Ugh.

It surprised him enough to stare without telling the doctor to put out his smoke.

The wrong Barrow. He blinked like he'd been slapped when he was called 'Bennie boy' with the same inflection as his father had used. He took a step back as a retreat but didn't leave, his hand on the doorframe, fascinated by what he saw. He'd got an inkling of this at the trial, but he hadn't seen the full metamorphosis until now.

The riddle stumped him even though he had an answer because he didn't think it would be the right answer. It  didn't fit for the second dragon. Still, he gave the answer he had.

"Id, ego and superego?" he tried.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Black Philip

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Re: After Hours
« Reply #33 on: July 18, 2019, 12:47:25 PM »
Jimmy cocked his head to the side, listening to something that Ben couldn't hear. Something was speaking though, and nobody in Sam's class had seen the madness network in quite this much technicolor. He received an answer, and blew a beautiful smoke ring to celebrate.

"Your answer is acceptable," he concluded. "They are somewhat those things, but in truth they are people too! The Id you know well. You hate and love him ever so much. The superego you know better than yourself, although it wouldn't hurt to look in a mirror. The ego you've met, but it's not your fault they didn't make an impression."

He gestured for Ben to come closer, winking at him and clicking his teeth like he had a secret. "Part two of the riddle goes like this."

"If all three dragons want the same drink, and they're unwilling to share, who dies first? Be careful! This is the hard part!"
 
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

Offline Trillian

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Re: After Hours
« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2019, 12:59:39 PM »
Ben was thoroughly confused. Was the doctor trying to tell him that the three dragons represented people in Ben's life? That they were feeding different parts of his psyche? He was overwhelmed by the metaphor. The conversation was interesting enough to keep him at the door.

"I don't know. Superego?" he hazarded, thinking that it needed to be fed most of all.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Black Philip

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Re: After Hours
« Reply #35 on: July 18, 2019, 01:06:53 PM »
Jimmy blew out a disappointed raspberry.

"When dragons start stomping around and breathing fire, it isn't them that will die first." He sounded ominous now, his voice almost sounding like a million voices, all of them directed at Ben. "It's the rest of the city that will burn."

He jumped up and grabbed his suit jacket, throwing it over his shoulder. "Well, now that you have all the information you need my work is done. I think I'll go visit Kerr's favorite tonight. He's one of my favorites too."

With that Jimmy moved towards the door where Ben stood. One thing he didn't know yet was if Ben would let him pass.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

Offline Trillian

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Re: After Hours
« Reply #36 on: July 18, 2019, 01:13:02 PM »
Ben's eyes narrowed, not liking the crack about 'Kerr's favourite' and immediately knowing that he was talking about Cain. The mortal was on his own path now though he'd caught glimpses of him at the Academy opening night, so he wasn't entirely avoiding Ben.

But it was the dragons he wanted to know about. He knew about Halen, and he knew about Lan Bao... was there another?

He waited until Jimmy was close before speaking, though he did step away to let the vampire leave if he wanted.

"Lazarus killed a dragon. I told him how."

It was an aggressive statement, but certainly the truth. Nobody knew about his involvement in Halen's death. Only Lazarus.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Black Philip

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Re: After Hours
« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2019, 01:22:45 PM »
Jimmy was more pleased now. Ben was starting to understand. He stopped. It was the closest the pair had ever been physically, and a confident smirk faced James's employer.

"Well, well, well," Jimmy said mischievously. "I didn't know you were a dragon slayer! You may slay one of the dragons, but at what cost? Cannibalism is frowned on these days. Still, if one has to fall, why not the new born?"

With that he winked, and moved into the hall. "If you figure out who all three dragons are come find me. I can help you."

He moved to leave, whistling a tune that sounded like something you'd hear in a Victorian London tavern. It was haunting. 
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

Offline Trillian

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Re: After Hours
« Reply #38 on: July 18, 2019, 09:12:31 PM »
Tea.

"Lan Bao," Ben said suddenly, halfway through the whistled melody that reminded him a bit of an off-kilter Pop! Goes The Weasel. He took a step after Jimmy but stopped, waiting for him to stop, too.

He thought of Halen's ring and the page he'd photocopied for Sabrina. He thought about who had the ring now. "Jake."

And, because he'd been spoken to about cannibalism, he filled in the last one, though wasn't sure about it. "Me."

It was meant to come out sounding like a question, but he said it with conviction.

He was fucking excited.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Black Philip

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Re: After Hours
« Reply #39 on: July 19, 2019, 01:53:20 PM »
The whistling ended and Jimmy stopped. He turned around slowly, his eyes looking like a kaleidoscope and his grin as wide as the Cheshire cat. He moved back towards Ben and gripped him by the shoulder, nodding excitedly and squeezing hard.

"Your scales are so pretty; gold, blonde, and bronze," he informed. "Of course the red dragon and black dragon are pretty too. Want to know their weaknesses?"

The world felt smaller, and the hallways seemed to be enclosing on them. Something wasn't right.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

Offline Trillian

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Re: After Hours
« Reply #40 on: July 19, 2019, 02:03:36 PM »
Ben leant forward as his shoulder was held, drawn to Jimmy and his words. Of course he wanted to know weaknesses. Their weaknesses were where he would get his potency.

“Yessss,” Ben whispered, the sound soft and sibilant.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Black Philip

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Re: After Hours
« Reply #41 on: July 19, 2019, 02:17:54 PM »
Jimmy's eyes were the only thing in the world that existed. The dancing colors were magnificent, like watching a map of neurons light up in the human brain. They led somewhere, but not to a place, or a realm, but to someone, or someones. All of them stared at Ben, and they seemed to invite him deeper and deeper. Jimmy was having trouble hearing, so many pictures and voices before him. It was impossible to sort through it all. He'd offered weaknesses. Weaknesses. The red dragon was currently sipping tea. She was shrewd, poised and deadly. She lacked the emotional bondage of the other two dragons. She was free to bend her will to her own. Only one weakness could be seen.

Ben would see the dragon form of Lan Bao, perched on a high building looking over Chinatown. "The red dragon is wiser than the other two, and more powerful as well. She lacks a vote, a title and lands. Her weakness is that for all her power she's powerless."

The red dragon faded and now the black dragon appeared. Jake's dragon form was stunning. Black scales shined in the moonlight, with shades of indigo, dark green and navy. His eyes were still grey, and they made contact with Ben. Jake's eyes stared through Jimmy's eyes, and the sound of a shattering mirror filled their ears.

"But you really want to know about the black dragon, don't you."
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

Offline Trillian

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Re: After Hours
« Reply #42 on: July 19, 2019, 02:52:26 PM »
Ben, hypnotised much more deeply with Jimmy than he had with James, only because he was more invested in the information given him, allowed the visions to swirl around him. He could feel Lan Bao's presence in the red Chinese Dragon, mighty and exotic.

The black dragon touched a bitterness inside him.

“Tell me,” he demanded, wanting to know how to slay this one in particular.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Black Philip

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Re: After Hours
« Reply #43 on: July 19, 2019, 03:00:08 PM »
The black dragon was struck with a lance, and cried out in pain. The thrower was Sam, who then turned her back and walked away. The dragon cried out, but couldn't go after her for another lance struck him. This time Murphy Hilton walked away, leaving the dragon to make pitiful whines. Several more lances pierced it; Damien Evans, Charon, Lisa-Joe, and all the people Jake was close to. A final lance was thrown by Lazarus, who walked away too. The dragon now lay bleeding and crying out, and then transformed back to just Jake. Heavily wounded, and looking crushed, he took off the blood ring. A few seconds later he smiled, and burst into flames.

"Do you understand," Jimmy asked.  His voice sounded sad for the moment and for some reason he added, "Sad to watch such a beautiful creature die."
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

Offline Trillian

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Re: After Hours
« Reply #44 on: July 19, 2019, 11:50:53 PM »
Ben was disappointed with the answer even though he knew it was true. He understood that already - that Jake was propped up by the people around him. He'd known that ever since that day he'd been abducted into Jake's limo; the act that had turned Ben on Jake in the first place. He knew that others had to turn on Jake, or that he had to remove them.

But he was too soft to 'remove' them. He was no murderer, no unthinking super-villain. He had a conscience. He would love to split up Lisa-Joe and Jake - he would RELISH it because it would cause them both pain. But Sam? No. He couldn't do that to her. He'd laid some groundwork on turning her against Jake... but hadn't been able to follow through even though she was always available at the Academy. He just... couldn't do it. It would be like stabbing a child.

And Murphy. No, he couldn't run interference there either or he'd lose the already tenuous hold he had on his friend.

Damien was a strange one to see. Ben filed that one away. He hadn't realised the two of them even knew each other.

Charon being there was a surprise as well. Charon was supporting Ben, he'd been there when Ben had made his announcement in the first place. Charon had laughed but he hadn't discounted Ben's ambition. He'd even spoken to Ben at length about it and said the Sacramentum would stand behind him. Ben knew why; Charon was wily enough to understand he had a better hold on Ben than he did on Jake so it was in his interest to aid Ben on the down low.

And Lazarus... Lazarus had already thrown his lance.

Ben hadn't realised how close Jake had come to ending himself recently, but that wasn't what he wanted. He didn't want destruction for Jake. They might be rivals but Ben didn't fear him or fear for his life around him. He wished death on Lazarus, who'd ruined him. He wished it on Themba, who'd broken him. He didn't wish it on anybody else.

"I'll make sure not to look, then," Ben said callously, even though he didn't mean it. "Show me the third."

He had no idea what was coming.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :