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 Heart and Mind

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Posts : 297
Join date : 2013-10-28
Location : Texas

PostSubject: Heart and Mind   Sat 02 Dec 2017, 15:48

Eaton walked through the streets of San Antonio, his pace brisk with his gaze cast toward the ground. He clutched at a wooden mug he had stolen from one of the taverns. The owner wouldn’t miss it; in fact, he would never realize it once belonged to him. Eaton didn’t feel right borrowing from Harriet’s inn, as he had a feeling no one would want to reuse this cup once he was through. He scanned alley ways and quickly turned into the first empty one he found, no slaves handling waste, no drunks awaiting daylight. Zas and Rends were on their trip and Zoe was still tending to Harriot so she wouldn’t wonder where he had gone off to. The truth was he wanted to be someplace where a faint stench of the wyrm just might be tolerated; so many came and went though the city it would be easy to pass off as doings of a traveler. He plopped down next to an empty crate and set the mug on the ground. Here, with his worn clothing and untamed features he looked right where he belonged; no one would spare him a second glance. After all, what he planned to do here was the same as any other vagabond.

He was going to drink away his problems.

He reached into his pocket and produced a bundle of cloth, unraveling it to reveal five smooth, ebony black stones. He placed all but one beside him, clutching one of the hearts; he was certain this was the first one he had found. He held it out over the mug, seeing his reflection on the stone’s surface.

Are you sure about this, He thought, this is merely a fragment of what took Mocks away.

“This ain’t the same.” He said to himself out loud, “Mocks was consumed by the Abyss. This is gonna be the exact opposite.”

As his clasp strengthened, the heart melted into an equally black liquid, which flowed though his fingers and gathered in the mug. It seemed this portion of the Abyss was as malleable as any other dead material. Between his insight in the Abyss and Ingrid’s research, he had an idea of what these hearts were capable of.  They could be a weapon or fashioned into armor, as they had been both things before. But that was far to conspicuous for the Galliard. Who would let him just wield a piece of the Abyss after what they had been through? Thankfully, the witch had revealed another solution: the hearts could be distilled and imbibed.

He picked up another heart and crushed it just the same, though he could swear he could hear the warnings of his Theurge in his mind. “Are you mad, or just stupid? If that drink doesn’t kill you, I will!”

“And that’s why you don’t know,” He reached for another stone, “and won’t know.”

The third heart liquefied in his hand as Zas’s voice said, “If you’re doing this for why I think you are, do you think that you’ll become closer to the Pure consuming something so impure?”

“As if you know;” Eaton spat, “I’m Uktena’s blood! At least I’m trying to understand their ways doin' this! What have you done, give lip service to an elder? If anyone’s gonna reach the Pure, it’s me!”    

As he picked up the fourth stone, Rend’s voice flared to life, “Trust me, Eaton! I’ve had to resist the Abyss twice now! Don’t fall for it, you’re stronger than this!”

The Ahrouns words did give him pause, though Eaton said flatly, “And was that enough to save Mocks, to pull him back to safety?”

By now, the mug was nearly full, yet there should be room for the last. He was about to dissolve the heart before he heard the voice of his wife, “Are you going to leave us too, Eaton?  Abandon me to raise both Elijah and Emma? What am I going to tell them, that their father died following after their uncle?”

“I’m doing this for you!” Eaton yelled out loud. His heart racing, he peeked around; thankfully, either no one had heard him or cared enough to react.  

“Mock’s death just means we weren’t strong enough to fight out of there. Well, I ain’t losing anyone else. And if that means usin’ the wyrm’s tool against it,” The last heart dripped into the cup, “then so be it.”

Despite his fervor, he still winced as the liquid in the mug shimmered like stale blood. He took out a flask and spiked it with some of the Fianna’s whiskey. He held his breath as he raised the drink to his lips

Huh. Ain’t much worse than Shulk’s-in-Shadows “coffee”.

He didn’t think too much until he swallowed. His stomach immediately wrenched, but he just managed another gulp, finishing his concoction before the mug slipped from his hand.
It was as if his chest erupted before scorching tendrils seethed through every vein in his body. He fell on his hands, eyes feeling as if they’d burst from their sockets. His muscles began to spasm, the hairs on his arms and legs bristling.

God, why’d I do this here?!” The rage within continued to flare as it attempted to burn away the corrupted blood. With a pained yell and several extended grunts, he just managed to stave off frenzy, his fists clenching at the dirt. The burning gave way to an icy pierce, spreading gut outward as if to extinguish the fire. Still barely managing to catch his breath, the rage finally subsided, leaving Eaton panting in a crumpled kneel. A door to the alleyway opened, revealing a shopkeeper who had clearly heard the unsettling noises. A man began to curse at him in Spanish, telling him to get lost and stop causing a racket. Eaton’s gaze shot up to meet the man, and while still in homid, he bared his teeth and growled. The shop owner stepped back and gasped in shock, frozen in place. Regaining most of his sense, the Galliard realized what he was doing.  

“Lo siento, lo siento. Voy a dejar.” He replied before he hobbled away. He heard the door close without any further comment.  

His stomach still churned, yet he still managed to keep from retching. He leaned against a wall and took the chance to look himself over, staring at his reflection in the flask. As far as he could tell, his appearance had not been altered. The inner cold remained, almost as if there was another force within him, along with his rage, devotion to Gaia, and his own resolve. His eyes widened, instinctively realizing what he was now capable of . . .

They’re going to know eventually. He thought, pushing off the wall as the inward roil finally subsided, what are you going to say then?

Eh, I got plenty of time to prepare. Eaton let out a heavy sigh and headed in the direction of Harriet’s Inn. Now that his stomach calmed, dealing with the wyrm in any fashion worked up an appetite. Though I hope it’ll be appropriate to say, ‘You’re welcome’.
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