< Haze Around Lucent | Sol Invictus Logs | Ordeal At The Crown >

alsoquin Zahara has been drifting in and out of sleep... the unnatural angle at which her limbs are splayed, and the pounding soreness in what was once her nose make rest difficult, but Zahara is exhausted. It has been three days since she was taken, and Akuna has ensured that she has had no chance to rest. (...)

alsoquin Two of the cruel, wolf-headed zipetok are her normal jailers when the important Exalts are not available to torture her, and they have found joy in striking her for imagined slights. At this moment, however, they prick up their ears and advance together towards the door -- someone must be coming to visit.

Zahara{EM} tenses slightly, but forces her head up, to meet the one who comes.

alsoquin The door opens, and Akuna walks in. Where before he wore an elegant suit, now he is clad in his full regalia -- a glorious suit of moonsilver armor, cut through with elegantly curved patterns of purple and blue, and a single, vast opal set upon his breast. He holds a great two-bladed curved weapon in one hand, though as he walks in it shifts and moves to become merely a cuff on one arm.

Akuna "Good morning, Zahara. Have you slept well?"

Zahara{EM} smiles, though the movement pains her. "I must say your accomodations have been quite comfortable, yes. And you dressed up for me. I feel so special."

Akuna chuckles. "More Haltan cities have fallen beneath my heel this night, and soon none will remain. This must come as a great satisfaction to you, yes? I am led to believe you are not fond of them."

Zahara{EM} "The Haltans mean little to me, these days. Congratulations on your conquests. Did any of them put up a fight?"

Akuna "Not particularly. The will to defend one's home is nothing before might of arms and the decree of divine justice." Akuna steps over to a table at one side of the room, in front of Zahara, and lifts up a metal dish that covers a rather extravagant meal, which he sits and begins to eat, in full view of the fallen Exalt.

Zahara{EM} laughs to herself when her stomach begins to rumble. The gnawing of her stomach is but one more pain. It means less to her than the anticipation of what is to come. After a moment she speaks, "Did you destroy them or convert them to your grand cause?"

Akuna "Some of each, of course," he says, between bites of juicy, rare meat. "Some are not truly worth the effort of conversion."

Zahara{EM} "They fall so fast."

Akuna nods, and sips from a silver goblet that also rests upon the table.

Akuna He eats in silence for a moment, then pauses. "Do you know what else we have taken from you?"

Zahara{EM} "I imagine you will tell me."

Akuna reaches over to another platter and lifts up a slightly smaller metal dish, revealing underneath a small stand, bearing a golden disc with two concentric circles embossed upon it.

Zahara{EM} 's eyes flash, and her breathing becomes short and ragged as she twists in her bonds. It lasts but a moment before she closes her eyes once more, takes a long breath, and subsides. Her eyes open again, focusing on the Seal. She grits her teeth in yet another smile. "Ah, my favorite souvenir from our trip to meet Autocthon."

Akuna nods, and taps his fingers upon its surface lightly. "It is quite glorious, no? A truly fitting emblem for one such as you. Well" -- he pauses -- "one such as you once were." He bites into his steak again, tearing it with his vicious canines.

Zahara{EM} brings her head up, turning her gaze challengingly to Akuna himself. "You say that as if you have destroyed me already, Akuna. Three days have passed, and still I am not lessened."

Akuna gazes admiringly -- as one might at a puppy -- on Zahara's display of will. "I would have expected no less. To give in to what we have done to you thus far? That would be one hardly worth the attention we have paid you." He grins.

Zahara{EM} "It has been a bit dull, hasn't it?"

Akuna "Perhaps. I can certainly make your stay far more interesting." He sips from his goblet, then dabs his lips with a black cloth napkin before discarding it upon the floor.

Zahara{EM} "I have decided to give you a gift, in return for your hospitality. I will give you your wish, and I will scream for you. Shall I try it now?" She lets out a piercing shriek as his napkin hits the floor.

Akuna "Tell me, Zahara. Why do you oppose us so stridently? Is it because you can see how similar we truly are?" He rises up from his seated position. "You do not wish any competition for the queen of the mountain?"

Zahara{EM} leans back against the wall and studies him as he moves towards her, "Well you have been very rude, and did not ask if we wanted to rule the world as your lackeys. I simply could not let such an affront pass, and so we had to fight you."

Akuna "Oh. How deeply unfortunate." Akuna adopts a grave visage. "All of this conflict, thousands of lives ended in battle, years of elaborate effort on each of our parts... all down to a tiny mistake of ettiquette. Truly the historians of the Third Age will joy in such a grand tragedy."

Zahara{EM} "Isn't it though? One can only wonder why we have not met diplomatically before now."

Akuna "Indeed. Perhaps it is because of your paramour's inconsiderate refusal to maintain his -- rather generous, I might add -- employ with us." He picks up a small bone from the table that has been filed down to a point and begins to pick his teeth.

Zahara{EM} "You might have avoided that by not also employing his most hated enemy. Bad form, that."

Akuna clicks in disapproval. "He was told not to journey to Rathess. When the time came we would have offered Axhelm up to him and given him his petty 'revenge.' Such hasty action on his part."

Zahara{EM} "So I heard, but then you went and vaporised the central pyramid in a display that could be seen for leagues around. Did you honestly expect that we would not go?"

Akuna "We thought perhaps that Cerin might actually convince you to stay away. In the worst case, we would prove his unreliability as an operative, just as we did. It is no matter." He finishes with the pick and drinks again. "Now, we will prove his unreliability as an ally and lover as he fails to rescue you."

Zahara{EM} laughs. "You do not understand. History repeats itself." An odd glint enters her eyes.

Akuna "If that is what you believe. We will discuss this again in three days, yes? How unrescued you remain?" He stares back at Zahara's eyes without blinking.

Zahara{EM} "It's a date."

Akuna claps once and a God-Exalt of some white-clad stripe runs in and whisks away the remnants of the meal, though Akuna pockets the Eclipse Seal. "I am afraid I must be leaving you once again, Zahara, but your friend has come to pay you a visit. I believe he wanted to show you a new use for one of your favorite toys." He stands and walks out of the room again.

Akuna Perhaps five seconds pass before the door opens and Markuran walks in once again, a deeply cruel grin upon his face.

Zahara{EM} "Kiriath. Or should I call you Markuran?"

Evil Marku "Either will be fine, Zahara. I care not what you call me." He steps forward and lifts one hand from the position behind his back where he held it. Clutched within is a familiar sight for Zahara -- a stomach bottle bug, the demon known as sesseljae. "We summoned this especially for you." He leans down and lets it claw its way into Zahara's shoulder.

Zahara{EM} sucks in a breath as it crawls into her skin, the feeling so familiar. She tenses, willing it to leave, pushing it back out of her body before it does what it intends.

Evil Marku The demon holds on for dear life as Zahara's very flesh tries to drive it out, and its nimble claws drag through the flesh of Zahara's shoulder, freeing newer blood to join that caked on the floor below the Solar's position. Marku looks over with a glance, a mixture of disappointment and excitement, then he begins to grin.

Evil Marku "That's okay, Zahara, we can try again." He pauses ominously. "We have all day."

< Haze Around Lucent | Sol Invictus Logs | Ordeal At The Crown >