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DG ([personal profile] daughteroflight) wrote2008-08-30 04:39 pm
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[For Cain]

Eventually she stopped screaming. The panic never went away but at least the hysterics subsided. Of all the ways she had imagined dying, DG had given the least consideration to being buried alive, it was simply too terrifying a prospect. Now she was going to have to endure it.

It was over. Azka- the Sorceress had everything now. Her sister, the emerald, her mother and father, her other mother and father, her friends were either captured or... she viciously pulled away from that thought. She herself was trapped now, encased in a marble tomb and helpless to prevent the end of the world she'd just recently learned was hers.

DG gasped despite fears for her supply of air, fought against her own sobs, against despair. "I'm scared," she rasped in confession to the darkness. Her eyes closed tight over escaping tears and she felt everything all at once, her heart racing against her ribs, the throbbing ache in her skull, and the soreness in her hands from pounding uselessly against her prison. "I don't know what to do."

There had to be a way out, a way to keep going, they hadn't all come this far to be beaten now. DG opened her eyes and rifled through her magic-fogged memories for an answer, calling up herself and Az as children and her mother's beatific smile. Later now, with Popsicle's stories of the Old Road and her not-mother's quiet advice about womanhood. No, she needed answers from the OZ, she needed Glitch's sly grin and Mr. Cain's firm hand on her shoulder, Raw's soothing presence and Toto- Tutor bounding at their feet. Concentrate, concentrate...

"Clear your mind," the Seeker/Ahamo/her father's voice advised her in memory. "Remember how it felt when you were a little girl, how the light flowed through you." She closed her eyes again and there was Tutor, and herself as a child holding a tiny doll. "Concentrate, DG. Show me how she spins without touching her."

DG took a steadying breath and held up her right hand, twirling her index finger counterclockwise (righty tighty, lefty loosey), and in her mind's eye the doll rose in the air, spinning fast and freely. Suddenly she heard four distinct blasts and a tell-tale grinding as the screws holding the coffin lid in place came undone. Her eyes snapped open when two of the screws came free, soon followed by the others. With a gasp she held her left hand palm up, the sigil's glow flaring with a light she felt was drawn from her very being.

Slowly the lid slid away, and DG lay momentarily stunned at the sight of light and air and hope before climbing out into the confines of the royal mausoleum. She had no real plan as she raced for the doors, no ideas beyond the knowledge that she had to stop the Witch, save her friends, save the world-

She flung the doors open and ran out into what was not the cool and woodsy hillside she remembered. In its place was a lush, tropical jungle, the sound of a waterfall not far off and strange birdsong even closer. DG spun to try and find the doorway, then after finding it gone kept turning just to make sure. No, no this was nothing like any part of the Outer Zone she could remember, and it definitely wasn't Kansas either.

"What the hell?" she murmured, eyes darting around as she took in her surroundings before they alighted on a good-sized stick. DG picked it up and gave it a couple experimental swings to test its strength before adjusting her grip to brandish it in both hands. "Hello?" she called and ignored the weird sense of deja vu.

[identity profile] heartliketin.livejournal.com 2008-08-30 08:52 pm (UTC)(link)
At first, he'd thought it was just Maladicta again, some trick or some little way of deceiving him that this place had, but a quick turn of his head and he was already bounding forward, hurrying closer until he was standing a few steps from her and looking her up and down.

Funnily enough, it was the stick that clinched it. "Hey kiddo," Cain greeted, crossing the distance and surrounding her immediately in a tight hug. Glitch was giving him good practice with the kids and so maybe he might have held her a bit too tight. "Thought you'd never make it."

He ignored the part of him that reminded him of Jeb's absence. He would come. One day. He had to.

[identity profile] travelsbystorm.livejournal.com 2008-08-30 09:12 pm (UTC)(link)
The relief at seeing Mr. Cain, present and unscathed, was quickly replaced with apprehension when he went and hugged her. DG tensed, immediately thinking this was another of the Sorceress' illusions, but being held tight and close was too much of a comfort to let go. She brought her arm up around him, rest her head on his shoulder, and knew he was real.

"I'm so glad you're all right," she said and firmly ignored the wobble in her knees. Then what he'd said registered and she frowned and raised her head. "Wait, made it where? What's going on?"

[identity profile] heartliketin.livejournal.com 2008-08-30 09:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Cain had to convince himself to ease back and let go, because as awkward as he once was with hugging, he was better at it now and some part of him said that if he let go of DG, she might vanish. Except, he was probably scaring the poor kid, so he took a step back and released her. "You sure you want to hear this?" he offered lightly. "It's not exactly much of a fairytale," he deadpanned.

[identity profile] travelsbystorm.livejournal.com 2008-08-30 09:26 pm (UTC)(link)
"Nothing about this has been a fairytale, Mr. Cain," she pointed out. The stick was lowered to her side but not dropped as she looked around again. "What'd she do, zap us into another country?" DG leveled a wide-eyed stare at him. "Are Raw and Glitch okay?"

[identity profile] heartliketin.livejournal.com 2008-08-30 09:33 pm (UTC)(link)
"She?" Cain echoed, somewhat lost until he realized that if DG were new, if she were completely fresh to this place, she might be from anytime after they'd met. "Glitch is fine," Cain promised with a nod. "He's, really, fine." That was, if he hadn't incurred Cain's irritation that day. "Raw, the last I saw him, happy and healthy. Thing is, Princess, I think you and I might have different accounts of what's happened."

She said that nothing was a fairytale, so he took that as a sign to tell. "For instance, last I saw the O.Z., you and me and Glitch and Raw had taken down the Witch a whole week back. And that? Well," he went on calmly, "that was over six months back."

[identity profile] travelsbystorm.livejournal.com 2008-08-31 02:18 am (UTC)(link)
DG stared, then shook her head. "No, that's not right. The Witch got the emerald and... trapped me. That's all I know. How did I miss six months?" It had to be a trick, and she took a wary step back. "Some time travel thing now?"

[identity profile] heartliketin.livejournal.com 2008-08-31 02:22 am (UTC)(link)
"More like this place tends to have some inexplicable magic," Cain had to admit wearily, even though he hadn't seen a lick of it come from Azkadellia's fingers. "Speaking of. You and your sister don't seem to be able to control yours. Like it got sucked out of you, into the ground here, and now this place is using it to drive us crazy with bringing people from random places, times, and inflicting odd things on us."

[identity profile] travelsbystorm.livejournal.com 2008-08-31 10:52 pm (UTC)(link)
That got her attention and she glanced at her left palm, only to find the mark that had been her guide had vanished. DG closed her eyes a moment, "concentrate", but felt no light, no magic coming from anywhere. "You're right, it's gone," she said, somewhere between offended and disappointed, then opened her eyes again. "So we did get zapped somewhere, but it has nothing to do with the Witch, and- wait, you mentioned my sister. She's here too?"

A week ago she never would have believed any of it, but so much had happened, and if she was going to trust anyone it would be Mr. Cain.

[identity profile] heartliketin.livejournal.com 2008-08-31 10:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Cain took a deep breath and eased a palm to DG's elbow to try and guide her with him. It wasn't that he didn't expect her to believe him, but visuals were a hell of a lot easier to use and showing her the house might help. "Yeah," he exhaled. "Az is here. She's not what you remember. Or she's exactly what you remember, being that she's a kid. Thirteen annuals, maybe?" Cain did his best to estimate.

"Not a single memory of the Witch. Glitch and I took her in a while back, she lives with us and a bunch of other people I...took in," he finished, with careful avoidance of the word 'adopted'. "You'll stay with us there, too."

[identity profile] travelsbystorm.livejournal.com 2008-09-01 11:08 pm (UTC)(link)
DG let herself be guided, exhaustion finally creeping in. "Well, she's in for a shock when she sees me." She thought about that, about Az as a kid, what she'd be like if she'd never encountered the Witch, if DG had just held on like she was supposed to.

"Sounds like you've been busy," she remarked. "And social, which I gotta say is a little weird."

[identity profile] heartliketin.livejournal.com 2008-09-01 11:11 pm (UTC)(link)
"We'll get you two settled," Cain promised quietly. "I know it'll be bad for her, but you're a good sister, kiddo. I know you'll help her anyway you have to." He nodded to lead her off in the direction of the Homestead, figuring a tour would be better than anything.

"Any hint of a social life is Glitch's fault," he assured wearily. "He invited a soldier to stay with us. Suddenly one soldier turned into four and their buddies and I've just been taking care of a couple kids who needed a guardian."

[identity profile] travelsbystorm.livejournal.com 2008-09-02 12:37 am (UTC)(link)
"I hope you're right. Maybe I can make to up to her," she muttered and let her gaze slide over the surroundings. Tahiti, she thought, Hawaii, or one of those even further-away places she'd glimpsed through a camera's lens on No Reservations and wanted so badly to run to. She hooked her arm through Cain's as she'd done so often with Glitch in recent days and trudged along beside him.

DG nodded along with his summary. "Kinda like how you took me and Glitch in, then Raw and Tutor came along and you let them in too. People grow on you, Mr. Cain." She smiled wryly. "Six months, though? I'm impressed you've let Glitch hang around that long without killing him."

[identity profile] heartliketin.livejournal.com 2008-09-02 01:10 am (UTC)(link)
Cain cleared his throat at the last bit, coughing slightly and not saying much at all, just bringing her along and not dignifying anything with a response as he led her up the porch. "Come on in this way," he said, with a nod, seeing as the tour started there and then. "We're doing work on the kitchen, but until then, your sister lives up there. To there," he said, nodding to the doors. "The soldiers and other kids live. And the lab is there."

He let go of her arm, just long enough to push the door open to the main room. "And ah, Glitch and I live in there."

[identity profile] travelsbystorm.livejournal.com 2008-09-02 02:54 pm (UTC)(link)
"Cozy," DG said as she took everything in, the smell of frsh carpentry unusually comforting. Her brain was trying to register something, something obvious, so she ran over the tour again. Kitchen, Az up there, the soldiers and the kids over there, the lab (of course) was that way, and Cain and Glitch lived here. With the one bed.

She boggled for a moment, then it was her turn to clear her throat. "So. You guys are... roomates then, right?"

[identity profile] heartliketin.livejournal.com 2008-09-02 04:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Cain didn't blush. He was better than that and would likely die of humiliation if he did. What he did, instead, was clear his throat. "You could say that," he agreed, letting it come slowly to DG without him actually saying it. "We started out sharing the bed because Glitch refused to let me sleep on the floor, but that ah, changed."

[identity profile] travelsbystorm.livejournal.com 2008-09-03 03:46 am (UTC)(link)
DG nodded slowly. Then she did it again, and wandered over to slump into a chair. "Changed. Okay, I'm gonna need a few minutes for that because last time I checked you guys..." She trailed off and waved her hands, trying to find something to focus on. "It's been six months, you said?"

[identity profile] heartliketin.livejournal.com 2008-09-03 12:06 pm (UTC)(link)
"Little bit over," Cain agreed, his eyes constantly on her and constantly concerned. This wasn't exactly how he wanted this to go. "We can talk about that later, Princess, come on. Let's get you sitting and some food into you before I show you the rest of this place. Hate to spring this on you at once, but if anyone can take it, you can."

[identity profile] travelsbystorm.livejournal.com 2008-09-03 03:58 pm (UTC)(link)
"Yeah, I'm becoming a regular expert at coping," DG remarked, favoring him with a wry grin. "Rhyming turkeys, robot parents, sudden princesshood, crazy tropical paradise-" Cain and Glitch having... a thing "-I'll deal." She shrugged out of her jacket with a wince. "Any chance of a hot shower and a change of clothes?"

[identity profile] heartliketin.livejournal.com 2008-09-03 06:26 pm (UTC)(link)
"I'll take you to the big communal area they hold for that sort of thing," Cain agreed, offering her a hand. "C'mon, kid, let's get you out of those and into something comfortable. Then we'll see about flagging down Glitch so you two can have a talk."

[identity profile] travelsbystorm.livejournal.com 2008-09-03 06:48 pm (UTC)(link)
DG let herself be hauled to her feet with a groan. "More walking?" she whined, but her eyes were bright and her step was as springy as she could manage. The world was safe, she and her friends were in no immediate danger, and she'd ended up in a tropical paradise. For the first time in a long time, things were looking up.

[identity profile] heartliketin.livejournal.com 2008-09-03 07:57 pm (UTC)(link)
"It's just walking," Cain retorted, giving her an annoyed look. "Between you and Raw and Glitch, I swear to the gods, I'm ready to instill fitness programs in the O.Z. if walking causes this much complaint."