Logs:A Light At the End

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A Light At the End

Pro Tip: Don't play on train tracks, kids.

Dramatis Personae

Skylar with Mikhail as ST

15 June, 2016


Skylar attempts to escape her Keeper.

Location

Arcadia


A trip! The servants had come in to her room and begun gathering up her things. The sword from the maze. The leather armor on its stand. All neatly bundled up and set in a crate. The rabbit man butler had arrived to escort her out with an offered hand, her flanked by only two guards this time as they went through the halls of the castle and then into an open courtyard with a starry night sky above and wall pines peaking over the high walls surrounding them. A chariot of black stone awaited them, a driver of granite carved in a hybrid shape of man and dog manning the reins and carved elk as the mounts.

Skylar has long since stopped being confused, or protesting, at the sudden visits of fantastical servants and unanounced errands. This, she knows, is her lot in life. And after enough broken bones caused by punching rock servitors, she's just fallen into a certain level of acceptance. She clings to her name, to a hope that she'll one day return home, but for now... for now she goes with the flow. At the chariot she climbs in, folding her clawed hands into her lap and keeping her spine straight. It's a posture her former master made her perect, and one she uses for the new one as well.


Other chariots are pulled up and manned, loaded with luggage, guards and attendants before their Lord and Master arrived. The huge ram headed man steps out from his keep and stops to survey his attendants as they ready to leave. His gaze settles on Skylar for a moment, eyes gleaming like emeralds and there is a palpable weight to his gaze before he looks away. A huge hand is raised and a large chariot rips out from the ground, chased with gems and silver, that he steps up on to while bear carved guards scramble on all fours to attach themselves to the harness to have the honor of pulling their lord. His hand is raised.. held.. and then thrown forward.

Whips crack and the chariots lurch forward, gaining speed at a startling rate and heading towards the wall that seems to spread like a curtain to let them out into a trail through a damp, dark forest.

The captive Skinner meets those eyes and holds them, the only sign she gives of not being completely subservient. She gives him a nod, pretending that such a simple gesture is full of meaning and continued defiance. But that part of her is burried deep inside and it really only comes across as a meak bowing of her head. Fingers fidget in her lap, and relief swallows her when the Lord of Stone chooses to make a new conveyance for himself. Skylar lets out a breath she didn't even realize she was holding. At least she doesn't jump when the whips crack!


The chariots make a line down the trail. Two full of luggage and two guards each at the fore followed by the Fae himself and then Skylar with one more behind them as a rear guard. The path is bumpy, the cart lurching and jumping over roots and ruts as the forest speeds by too fast for how a chariot should go. It darkens, like the moon was being hidden by clouds until only the shadow of trees can be seen to either side of the path.

Skylar rests her forearm against the edge of the chariot and leans out the side to watch the landscape zip by. She affects boredom, but her eyes are more interested in things thans he tries to let on. She watches the familiar surrounds disappear in the distance and studies the guards, both front and back. She won't make a move. Not until... she thinks everyone has fallen complacent.

Skylar waits as long as she dares, afraid they will get too close to whatever strange destination is coming. But the chance to take her freedom is too great. She leaps to the side, throwing herself from the Chariot when the rear guard is on the other side, and tucks into a tight ball for the roll at impact thing.


She leaps and the driver of her chariot snaps his head towards her and pulls sharply on the reins to stop the harnessed creatures. He doesn't make a sound, the carved guards never do, but up ahead the Fae turns to look backwards and slows his chariot as well. The path is too narrow to turn the chariots quickly, but the rear guard rumbles up, veering towards where she rolled in the damp forest earth that feels like it is carpeted in inches of old pine needles over a mine field of roots and ankle breaking holes.

Freedom, or death, might be on the other side of the forest. Right now, Skylar is thinking either could be worth pursuing. She rolls up to her feet and starts running, knowing her time is short and her chances few. A whimper, a stumble - the first hidden root is found. But rather than dwell on the pitfalls of running at breakneck speed in a dark forest, she pushes ahead. If she, tiny little thing that she is, is having problems with roots then surely the heavy stone guards on the soft land will have more issues!

The rear chariot is forced to stop as she runs off into the woods and the driver leaps off to pursue. Her own escort follows suit, the two heavy stone figures crashing through the woods before stumbling. The ones behind used as mounts to pull the chariots unharness themselves and pursue as well.. but on all fours, far more nimble and quick through the forest than their upright companions.

The woods are dark and unseen branches whip at her face as she hurdles through... but a glimpse of something ahead. A light? It is flickering, hard to see as it moves in and out of sight through the foilage.

There's a part of Skylar that's become a predator, and it urges her to turn and fight, to show dominance, to feel blood and bone break beneath her grip. But there's still more intelligence in her than that. Enough to know she's outnumbered, out flanked, and that she'll never crush through the stone bones of the creatures that chase her. So she runs. She runs as branches slap her face and leave red welts on skin, or tears in her flesh. She runs, even when she stumbles and stumbs a toe, hits her shin. She runs, towards the only thing that seems like safety at the moment: the light.

The sound of the chasing creatures get closer. They may make no noise, but their passage does. Heavy feet, cracking wood... closer and closer. The feel of something snagging the back of her calf as she runs, a swipping claw almost catching her leg... and then she is out of the woods. A cleared straight path on level ground with small rocks on the ground instead of dirty.. two metal rails running parallel along the path with wooden board down in the ground perpendicular to them.. oddly familiar. That light in the distance, bright.. a rumbling.. and then a weight slamming into her and bringing her to the ground as a stony man boar crashes into her.

"Agghhhhh!" Skylar cries out, half in fear, w hen the first touch of non-forest hits the back of her calf. It's a grunt that follows the touch of stony claws, the fire of broken skin, the trickle of blood down the back of her calf. She whimpers but pushes on, on. She nearly strumbles across the tracks, and t hen goes down hard when she's tackled.

It's more instinct than anything else at this point. Panic rising. Hope so close. She rolls, rolls, shoves, tries to push the creature off of her. Tears of frustration and rage slide down her cheek, a hot reminder on her skin of the consequences of failure.

The creature on top of her doesn't try to gore her with its tusks, just lays its heavy weight over her to keep her from fleeing. More thuds as her pursuers break from the tree line on to the tracks and something latches onto her ankle with immense pressure and pain as cobalt teeth dig into the skin and refuse to let go.

The light grows closer. The rumbling nearing a thunder that can be felt in her bones.

Skylar wails. Not just because she thinks her ankle is now crushed and likely worthless. She wails with the frustration of potentially having escaped Arcadia just to die on the railroad tracks she used to throw rocks from. She wails, her throat growing ragged as the screams fill the night.

The Changeling tries to get her hands on the first creature. If she can just get a good grip, maybe she can surge enough to throw it into its compatriot. That's her plan. Throw one into the other long enough to get to the other side of the train tracks before she's smooshed.

The creatures largely seem to ignore her grasping hands.. and the approaching training. An unknown to them. Instead when she tries to grab one of them them grab her in turn and she is hauled to her feet as the boar man rolls off of her. Her ankle is kept bitten by the dog statue at her feet and her arm held by one of the bears.. there is a glance between boar and bear before a stony fist collides with her stomach.


Skylar might scream again, but there's no point. Not when the air is woooshing out of her lungs, driven by the stony fist. She nearly dobles over, a brief moment when the fight goes out of her.

But death is on the line! She tries to recover. She tries to lean her weight into the biting creature and throw a double fisted upper cut towards the other stony figure, even knowing it will hurt like hell.


Bones crack as her fists connect with the stone jaw. Her bones might give, but she is strong, physics apply.. and the creature staggers back, letting go and freei g her from its grasp. the roar of the train is all emcompassing, the light blinding.. the rumble felt in every fiber of her and the horn sounds loud and clear. Right there.


There's too much pain now. It's to that point where between the overwhelming pain and the adrenaline, Skylar just... stops feeling it. There's focus. And with it that single-minded clarity of fight or flight. She gives the first beast a shove with a broken hand, whimpering all the same, and then tries to wrench her leg out of the other's mouth and hop/pull/drag herself (and it?) away from the tracks.


She manages to drag the dog a half a step.. enough for her foot to pass to the other side of the metal track and then stumbled backwards on the banked side. The dog doesn't let go, but bites harder so that when she falls back her ankle stays bent and stationary upright with a sickening crunch of bone... and then the train roars past. A loud Smack, cracking sound and fragments of sharp stone pelting her like shrapnel. The pressure on her ankle does not lessen, but the weight attached to it does as the train passes by just inches away and she sports a stone dog head anklet clamped to her by the dark stone teeth.

Skylar pants for breath. Her cheeks are wet and red, her eyes wild and crazed. She leans forward as the train chugs along, oblivious to the life saving force it just became. Fingers pry at the stone dogs mouth, trying to free herself enough to hobble along. Whether she can get it or not, she's soon turning, crawling, trying to stand and hop away before the barrier of locomative and cars is gone.

It takes some effort.. but the dogs head is pulled off, removed, to reveal the ruined ankle. Broken hands, broken ankle, she crawls away into the woods on the other side of the tracks. The woods here are noticeably different than the sort she was running through before. Drier, newer growth... the train rumbles past and there's no sign on further pursuit, just a mess of gray and black stone fragment.