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Infinity's Row - Interlude

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Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by WritingBookworm on Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:05 pm

Hey guys! So it looks like the first IR RPG is coming to a close, but I never really RPed my characters, and it really doesn't feel right to just say that they were there trying to stop Arker and everything. So I'm writing a short, multichaptered thing that sort of explains what's been happening with my characters.
This story will be entirely in Elias's perspective, but Gentry has no small role. Oh, and the story begins with Elias's posts in the RPG, so the first part of this chapter takes place at the beginning of the RP, but later on it takes place while the rest of the Row are fighting Arker.
So, without further adieu. . .




It is quaint and dim inside. The soft lights cast a radiant, almost orange glow in the place, shedding light on a couple laughing, a man performing on a banjo with his group of friends watching and some children run about screaming. Their parents are too busy having fun themselves to tell them to quiet down.

Then there's me.

I sit quietly at the counter, away from the hustle and bustle. One arm rests lifeless on the wood while the other clutches an icy, vacant glass. My eyes are closed and my mind is clear. I don't do anything to affect the tides of excitement. Instead I simply let them wash over me. Unsurprisingly, the waves do not get me wet.

I can hear the door creak open, then smacked shut. The clicking of heavy boots resonate through building in spite of all of the commotion. Gradually they get louder and louder until they stop and a shadow looms over me.

"Hey there."

I open my eyes and flick them upward. Nora, a tall woman in her mid-twenties with long, dark extravagant hair, looks down on me and smiles. The only hint I give that I've seen her is a dip of the head.

She takes this as an invitation to sit down. "Nice to see you here. You're with other people for once."

"I'm not exactly socializing. I prefer being alone."

"Then why are you here? If you wanted to be by yourself, why not just stay at home?"

I stare ahead at the menu. The white letters begin to distort and blur.

We remain like this, silent and steadfast in both of our different opinions when my older sister shifts in her seat. "The Row recruitment is tomorrow."

"I'm perfectly aware of that," I say.

"Are you ready?"

"I've been bred for it, same as you. How can I not be?"

"I'm not talking about physical preparation. I'm talking about mental preparation."
My hand on the glass tightens. "What kind of question is that?"

"A simple one. And," she cocks her head to the side, "it's not one that you seem very keen to answer."

"Why are you suddenly so interested in what I think?"

"Because you're my brother. Of course I'm interested."

Nora rests a hand on my shoulder. "Look, you're going to do great. You just have to place a little faith in yourself."

I shrug her hand off, the movement far sharper than I had intended it to be. "Stop it. You talk as if I actually want to be recruited."

"Elias, when I first applied, trust me, I had the same feelings that you do right now. But in time I came to see that it was a great honor--"

I slam my fist on the counter and finally look up to see Nora's face. "Maybe I don't want a great honor." The words come out very carefully, punctuated with coldness. "Maybe, you know, I don't want this life. Perhaps I just want to live a quiet, uneventful life. And it doesn't involve being in the Row, or becoming just like you."

For a long time, Nora is motionless. Shock has contorted her face, and she stares at me with something filling her bright blue eyes. I don't think it can be described as anything other than hurt. My stomach contracts at the sight, and I divert my eyes away. I can't bear to look at her face.

Suddenly she stands up and rams the stool back in its original place. I try not to cringe at the loud grinding it produces. Nora subsequently turns on her heels, strides to the door and slams it behind her as hard as she can.

I cannot move. I cannot blink. I can barely breathe. I feel as if all of my intestines have been ripped out, leaving me more hollow than ever. Then, gradually, I caress my forehead with my hand and sigh.

~~~

I return home an hour or so after the confrontation. My bedroom is bathed in darkness save for a small bedside lamp, and the bed and shelves perfectly manicured. There is not a single item out of place. My stepfather would have my head if there was.

I don't even bother getting into my pajamas. I pull the window curtains together with forceful, abrupt tugs before sitting down on my bed. Just like I did before back at the building, I hold my head in my hands.

As I do, a cold thrill crawls over my shoulderbones. The room is so silent that I can hear a faint humming. Good. Just the way I like it. Silence is my shroud, my friend, my protector. There is a constant, unflinching security in it that cannot be found anywhere else. It wraps around my body like a tepid blanket and comforts me as my rigid muscles slowly unwind.

Just as I am lulled into the sound of quietness, a jovial laugh from outside cuts into my security like a knife. Just like that, the ease that I had spent so much time building up crumbles into dust. My chest tightens as I lay down and yank the covers over my body.

"Happy freaking New Year to me," I mutter as I jerked down the switch.

Everything goes black.



My phone is ringing.

I groan, my face buried into my pillow. I remain still and unnmoving for a few seconds. Then, like a zombie, I stretch my arm out and grasp my cell phone.

The light pierces my irises. Then my pupils start dialating, and before long I can read the caller ID.

It's Nora.

My face shifts into a variety of expressions. Finally my lips tighten and I resign myself to her. "What the crap are you--"

"Are you Elias Carstairs?"

I freeze.

It's not her.

"Yes," I say. "I am. . ."

The speaker on the other side of the phone, an adult male, sighs in relief. "Good. She told me to dial you, said that you were her emergency contact."

Wait, emergency?

My anger towards Nora melts. "What do you mean?" I have to fight to prevent my voice from rising. "Why do you say it's an emergency? What happened to my sister?"

All three of my questions are met with one answer. "I think you should come see for yourself."

~~~

I run.

I run through puddles, through all kinds of bends and turns and I don't look back when a car nearly runs into me. I just keep going--for all I'm worth, I just keep running.

Then I see them.

Nora is pale and lying out of the ground. Dark blood freely streams out of her chest, running onto the sidewalk and soaking her once dignified Row uniform. The man who called me, a considerably stocky guy with stubble, is kneeling by her side, working rapidly to attempt to put an end to this.

I skid to a halt and get down on my knees. My eyes skate over her frail body. I blink rapidly. This can't be real. It just can't.

"What. . ." I swallow a gulp. "What happened?"

"She was chasing a criminal," the man says. "She was doing well, but then the criminal shot her and I witnessed it. I called both you and the authorities, you were the first to arrive."

I don't look at him. I can only stare at my sister.

"Nora, relax, it's going to be okay," I say. "You're going to live."

Somehow she manages to laugh. "Oh no. I won't. I can't lie." She dismisses the matter as if it's nothing important.

She coughs. "I think. . . you're the one who needs to be told. . . that it'll be okay. You appear relaxed. . . but Elias, your eyes. They look so frightened."

I shake my head. "Why is it that you manage to read me better than I read myself?"

"Because you're my brother."

The simple reply renders me speechless. Me. . . Nora. . . the Row. . .

My breathing becomes ragged. My throat constricts. "The Row. You should have never joined it, it turned out to be the death of you."

"But you must. . . understand. It was also the life of me."

Inch by inch, she lifts her hand. Her face grimaces at the taxing movement, but at last it comes to caress my cheek. "Elias. . . do you think. . . you can do me a favor?"

I don't trust myself to say anything. I nod.

"Do you promise? Do you. . . cross your heart?"

Her request comes as a surprise. Crossing your heart. We haven't done that since we were kids.

My hand shaking, I trace an X over my chest.

"Just take. . . my sword. It's. . . one of my most valuable possessions. . . and the key to my memories. Do what you will. . . use it, stow it away. . . I don't care. Just protect it."

Nora draws a deep breath and looks at me dead in the eye. "And. . . Elias. . . whatever you do. . . whether you join the Row or not. . ." she smiles, "I know that you'll be. . ."

I wait for her to continue.

She doesn't.

"Nora?" I ask. "That I'll be what? I'll be what?"

Still she doesn't continue. And I know that she would continue if she only could.

My heart beats, but that's all it does in this deathly silence. I inch my hand towards her face until I feel her cold skin send icy waves into my pores.

I close her eyes.

For what's the use of keeping them open if they see nothing?

I guide my other hand to hers and unwind her fingers from around the sword handle. Then I clutch the sword and feel the weight of both the blade and the promise.

I close my eyes and focus simply on the raindrops sinking into my skin. If I do, I can almost believe that nothing has changed.

But ignorance, as Nora taught me, is never a good way to deal with anything.

The reality is, Nora died.

The reality is, she was murdered.

And another reality is that the one who did this is still out there.

"Sir," I say to the man who found Nora.

"Yes?"

"Do tell me. What did the criminal look like?"

"Male, silver hair, about as tall as you."

"And which direction did you spot the criminal going?"

"I-It's too late, you were called nearly ten minutes ago--"

"I SAID, which way did the criminal go?"

"I. . ." The man gulps and points in a direction. "That way. He went that way."

My blood seems to turn to stone. I press my teeth together--

And then I roar and run, run as fast as I can, hurling myself blindly in the direction. I pass several buildings, nearly trip several times, go around several twists and turns and scream again because Nora was killed and the killer is STILL OUT THERE--

. . . But this is a waste of time.

I slow to a halt. When I inhale, my chest feels as big as a mountain, but when I exhale, it shrinks to the size of a fly.

I slam my free fist into the wall of a nearby building as hard as I can. I bare my teeth into a snarl.

"I. Will. Find you."


~ ~ ~

Several voices flow in and out through me, overlapping each other to create an endless track of mere chatter. Groomed men and elegant women stride gracefully along the meticulously manicured marble floor like professional dancers, and the servants weave between all of them as they cater to them.

And overseeing it all is me.

I never let my eyes stay in one place, making them leap from person to person, couple to couple, never missing a single whisper, not one hand gesture. I must take this job as seriously as I can. As a member of Runite's Row, I do have exceptional fighting skills.

And as it is, a very well-to-do family has taken it upon themselves to hire themselves special protection. So here I am, overseeing this event while the other Row members are out there doing who knows what.

"What do you think of the party?"

I turn around to see a girl striding towards me. She has brown hair that falls to her waist and is wearing a simple white dress. She looks rather familiar.

I shrug. "It's like all parties for rich people."

"I think it's horrible."

I slide my eyes to the side. Her fists are clenched, and generally looks like she wishes to rip something's head off.

"What are we doing here, having parties like these when there's a WAR going on?" she says. "There have been several places destroyed, and evil is prowling the streets! We should be helping the Row, not wasting time here."

It is then that I recognize her. She is Gentry Yate, the eldest daughter and heir to the wealthy Yate Family. She was specifically chosen to be part of Runite's Row.

And yet, no one saw her after that first day.

"But perhaps, in their own, small way, they are fighting in the war." I gesture down towards all the men and women on the floor below.

"How can you say that?" she says accusingly. "They're just--"

"They may be partying, yes, but by doing so positivity is being created. Wars and such create negativity. One can only combat negativity with things that breed its natural opposite. So in a sense, yes, they are fighting. You do not have to be at the front lines with a gun or a sword in order to do so."

I don't look at Gentry, but I sense her eyes upon me. She's sizing me up, wondering more about me.

"I guess that's an interesting perspective," she says.

Translation: I'm right, but she refuses to admit it.

"You know. . ." she tilts her head and studies me furthermore. "You seem familiar. Are you--" then she gasps in recognition. "OH. You're a member of Runite's Row, aren't you? E-E-Ethan? Evan?"

What an idiot.

"Ezekiel? No. . . Maybe. . . Eli--wait, wait, Elias! Elias Carstairs, that's it. So where are the other members of the Row?"

"I don't know. Fighting somewhere."

"Why don't you know where they are? I mean, they're your comrades, right?"

I push my glasses up. "I do not care for such sentimentality, ma'm. Simply because we are in the same Row does not mean we do the same things all the time."

And, I add in my head, my interests are certainly not the same as theirs.

The sword at my side becomes that much heavier.

"You mean you're on the Row and you're seriously not taking advantage of your opportunity to go save the world?"

"And this is coming from the one who was never seen again on the first day."

"I didn't have a choice! My--" she takes a deep breath. "I-I signed up for the Row without telling my parents. But they quickly found out and. . . and I was pulled out of the Row. To think that I trained so much for it. . . Runite's Row was my life!"

I feel like I've been punched in the gut.

Because someone else said that the Row was the life of them, on that day, on her deathbed. . .

I banish the memory as soon as it appears.

"And you, Elias--" Gentry looks up and down my body, "your reasons for joining the Row aren't the same as mine, are they? But at the same time, there's something about you that says that the Row means a lot to you."

She's reading me just as well as she did--

I smash my eyelids together. Stop it, I think. Gentry can not read you well, and she is not so similar to Nora.

"Look, I have no idea from where you receive your ridiculous assumptions," I say, "but rest assured, I do not--"

I see someone standing behind Gentry.

Someone with a gun, ready to pull the trigger.

Instinctively I run over to her and throw her down to the ground just as a gunshot echoes through the chamber--

Then chaos erupts.

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Credit to Hime for the drawing!





[Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]
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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by boyhoy on Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:11 pm

Ooooooooh snap!! This is gonna be good!! Love it already Very Happy

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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by Sentinel on Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:20 pm

Woooaaah. Keep going!!!

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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by Mythie on Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:31 pm

Oh writing, why must you put me to shame

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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by ~Dylan Battle~ on Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:39 pm

I'm planning on joining the next IR if possible, i'm intrigued by the beautiful world you've weaved with your magnificent hands and mind.

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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by Sentinel on Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:03 pm

It was le Herms that did it - we were just little helpers :3

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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by ~Dylan Battle~ on Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:11 pm

i know, i was talking to Hermy lol.

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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by Hime on Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:22 pm

You're a magician of words. Epic story. I love you

@Dylan - we'd all be happy for you to join! Everyone's welcome!

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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by boyhoy on Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:25 pm

Everyone except mythie. She joins but she's still not welcomed.

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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by Hime on Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:26 pm

^^^ true

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