Logs:First Steps: Return of Deckard

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First Steps: Return of Deckard

"Deckard? Is that my name? I like the sound of that name for some reason." - Deckard, after hearing Ting call him by name.

Dramatis Personae

Deckard and Ting

28 January, 2018

Deckard is discovered in the forest by Ting, who manages to talk some sense into the feral man. When he passes out, she takes him home.


Norther Crow Hollow Woods

A small clearing, somewhere in the North Crow Hollow Woods, featured a distinct lack of sound. Not that there was something muffling the ambient noise...more like there was little ambient noise to begin with. No signs of life. No birds, squirrels, insects. Even the trees themselves were still.

In the darkness, there was a light. Cold, shimmering, like an aurora borealis. The closer one came to the cold light, the more unusual the scene: There were ribbons of swirling turquoise light, weaving through the trees. They took on wild shapes, and upon closer inspection, one might have thought those floating, disembodied lights were the cause for the destruction.

Trees, small and large, were felled equally and with seemingly little to indicate the cause. The only thing tying them together was the light that held in place, casting an eerie glow like water over the snow. The light, and the man. In the center of the clearing stood an individual, shirtless, barefoot, and wearing tatters for boarding shorts. He was covered in dirt and grime and splinters, likely from the surrounding debris. In his right hand was a weapon of intricate design, black as night, and with a blade casting a cold, turquoise light. The source of the ribbons.

With each breath exhaled, visible on the frigid air, the man's torso expanded and contracted. The only sound in the clearing. In his left hand, missing the ring finger, was a lock of hair clutched tightly. He stood there, staring off into oblivion, heavy breaths and white knuckles and destruction his only company.

 Strange. The evening began with a beach walk that went on for miles. I will turn back soon, Ting kept telling herself, only to clock in another mile. Then another. She was bundled up, unusual for her since in the Spring and Summer she is dressed for the oceanside nonstop. Now it is freezing out, so she is forced to wear clothes. Details. The beach became the Marina, then East End. Once past Fisherman's Row things become dominated by forests. Her phone was on her, so when things became very dark she just kept on, roaming from one lone street lamp to the next.

Suddenly the witching hour is upon her and she stops dead in her tracks. Why here? Why now? She cannot say. But this is where she is to turn back, head home. The eerie silence stills her and she looks from side to side. The nothingness is haunting. Something twists in her chest. The glow to her left draws her gaze and she tilts her head to the side. One step, then another, she moves toward the trees, the glow, and the man.

With a hand gently held to the trunk of a tree she watches and waits. This... is not normal. Not on this side of the Hedge, this side of the Twilight. He looks lost. He seems hurt. A creature in need is what drives her into action. The very first step she takes crushes a cluster of branches tucked into hard snow. Crack, crunch, she halts in place and winces. "I'm sorry," she whispers. Sorry if she frightened him. Sorry if she upset his silent reprieve. Sorry for things she cannot yet know have happened to him. "Are you hurt?"

The man's hair was long, reaching to his lower back. It was thick, wild and unkept, much of it shrouding his face, along with the thick and unruly beard that had grown out to match. At first, his back was to the wanderer, unmoving aside from the deep inhalations and exhalations. At the sudden noise, the crack and crunch of brush and snow underfoot, he spun around and to face the girl, teeth bared as if he were a feral animal. Light trailed from the blade as he poised it for a strike.

He didn't move from the spot upon which he stood. His eyes on the other hand, were wide open, his pupils pinpricks, darting around the changeling, and away, towards the peripherals. He might have been checking for others. When he eventually spoke, it was with a gravelly, dry voice full of anger.

"You some kind of trick?"

Ting is exactly the same. Moonlit pale face, luminous blue eyes that even in the dim light somehow manage to bring the calm serenity of the ocean. When she pulls the hood of her jacket back all that pale red hair tumbles down. Golden sunset at midnight. Time stopped around the faerie and froze all of her goodness and purity into the crystalline waters.

He is a familiar kind of stranger, but then all anger from male creatures tends to blur into a singular banner of danger. There are no others. Just him, a large raging animal, and her, a tiny speck of... hope. Does he remember that light she would spread across everyone she met, everything she touched?

"A trick? Of your mind? No. I am here. With you." She looks to the sky, then the rended trees and wild light around them. Her gaze falls to his hand, that lock of hair. "You've lost something." That might be putting it mildly. She would very much like to check him for injuries, but this seems an inopportune moment.

"I'm Ting," she tells him. The way she met him. The way she has greeted everyone before him and after him. "Are you in pain?"

 Feral. The man looked like a wild animal...but what animal could cause such destruction? No bear or moose could clear an area of standing trees in such a violent manner. Certainly no man. That didn't stop the scene from existing, however, and as Ting spoke, as she revealed herself, the man's eyes narrowed.

Warmth. Hope. Soothing, calm waters. Was it another trick? The man was clearly pondering her disposition. "I have lost something." He snarled. "Nothing else matters."

At the mention of her name, the man paused for a fraction of a second. A flash of recognition. Alas, the respite from ferocity was short lived, and his hazel eyes that had been previously opened in surprise were once more narrowed to a knife's edge. "Pain is relative. A fool to underestimate the meek. Why are you here?"

 A hurt animal could do something like this, to be sure. Cornered. Enraged, afraid, soaked in agony. It does terrible and wonderful things to strength. Gives purpose. Destroy. Ting stays at her tree and rests her cheek to her hand there. Dangerous or not, she is a masterful escape artist.

It is no trick. It happens effortlessly for her, and that is perhaps what is so disarming about her. Ting. Is. Good. Period. No smoke and mirrors. Just fact. It can be quite annoying when one is faced with this kind of goodness. This is not the first negative reaction she has caused in a torn up person. "You have. I see it," she says as she looks to his hand and the lock of hair. "Something else matters. You just cannot see. Not yet."

She shifts slowly behind the tree, though her hand stays where he can still see it. Then she emerges on the other side. That look in his eye. What was it? She cannot be sure. "Pain is relative," she confirms by repeating. "I am here because you called for me. You're in despair. I can..." she begins, her voice but a whisper. "...heal your pain."

Slowly, ever so slowly, the man relaxed from his posture of readiness. No longer was he prepared to spring forth. The blade remained in his hand, however, and he brought his hand up, unfurling his fingers. His gaze darted down for a moment. "Soft. Smokey. Wispy, like shadow. Quiet..." His fingers curled over the lock of hair once more, and little trickles of blood began to run down the back of his hand, the nails biting in. Steam rose as blood hit snow.

Eyes darted back up to Ting. "You're not her. Similar. What could matter besides her?" The man's left hand was shaking, he held the lock so tightly. "What good would healing my pain do? You, your words. You're familiar. Your favorite colour is blue." A little bit of confusion began to creep into his expression. "I smell...baked goods. Icing. Fresh from the oven." He shook his head rapidly, as if he were trying to dispose of the familiarity. "Do you know me?"

 He relaxes and she takes a careful step forward. As small as she is her foot in the snow sounds like thunder erupting from the ground. Another step brings the thunder closer. Is she dangerous? No. Nothing says tranquil safety like the stillness of her eyes, the faint curve of her mouth. The blood gives her pause and she stills her movement. For now.

"I am not her. Similar? Was she..." No, the faerie will not say it aloud and hand her secrets to a stranger. Stranger? Something is in his eyes. Something of a distant dream. "What could matter besides her? You." That one word, uttered with a reverence meant for a holy place. His shaking hand compels her to extend her hands forward, like she would hold his hand and still that trembling pain. "It would make the ache go away. And each day that passes the ache grows more and more dull. I know. Please believe me." When he tells her that her favourite colour is blue she straightens, shoulders rolling back. "You smell cake!" Her eyes go wide, and caution be damned she moves in on him. And for all his anger and pain and feral disposition, she puts her hands on either side of his wild bearded face. "Look at me. Look at my face. Who are you?" She is so close he could stab her over and over then bury her in the snow. But something tells him he would regret that. Ting is much more interesting alive.

The man watched Ting's approach like an eagle might watch a mouse. His jaw moved back and forth, teeth grinding. "Similar. Feathers in the hair. Eyes of white. Skeletal overlay. Arcane blue alchemy..."

When she said that one word, it echoed in the man's mind. "Me?" Brow furrowed, he growled. No words accompanied the gutteral sound, but anyone would know enough to hear the disagreement. When she reached forth, his hand shook no longer. "Pain is useful. Without it, how does one even know they are injured? An open wound bereft of pain still bleeds."

Caught off guard, the man had no immediate response to the sudden movement. After he realized that she was holding him, and had gotten too close, that's when something flashed in his eyes. Something void of rationality. Without telegraphing, without drawing back, the man brought the blade up and under the woman's jaw. It was sharp enough to split skin at the slightest of pressures, and it was that slight cut that Ting would feel. Nothing of any real consequence...at least, not yet.

"No quick movements." His eyes darted around, into the background, before coming once more to focus in on Ting. "Winter. Earth. Husband...Father. Son, brother. The wolf, the warrior. Kerberos of the Athenaeum...a name escapes me. The Old Man, told me my past was grim...what does this mean to you?"

 "Water," she whispers. "Skin pale like seafoam." This man is no human. He knows enough to summon words of import to the fae. So she yields, little by little. Word by word. "Blue swirls of seawater. Spring. Do you know me?" she begs. He is so familiar to her. But all this hair, this beard... his eyes bring the answers forward. She is so close to knowing. She needs more hints. Her broken brain strains and begs itself to remember. Know him, Ting.

"Pain is necessary to alert you to the wound. But beyond that, unnecessary." Ting bites back her words here and closes her eyes even as she still holds his face in her hands. Who trusts like this? Who charges blindly into the face of danger to save another? It is madness. And thus was born a Spring faerie.

Her ocean blue eyes open again, drinking in his dirty, angry, mysterious face. The eyes. That is where the truth lies. Her lips part and she sucks in a breath to speak... then a knife is at her jaw and she goes still like a statue. He rattles off his cryptic clues, enigmatic to him, but a path for her. "Geist," she whispers so slowly only her tongue dares to move. "I know you. Sin-Eater. Please remember me." Her blue eyes well over with tears as she considers that he might just slit her throat in his madness.

 "Water..." The man mimicked. "Similar. But so different. Spring is life, Autumn is death. Vibrant colours in both seasons..." The man closed his eyes momentarily, exhaling a deep breath. "Those words mean something. You mean something. Ignore the blood, bring the flowers..." His eyes opened up, the pupils no longer a droplet in an ocean. Sharply he canted his head forward, closer to hers, before sniffing. For a moment, it might have felt as if the blade would sink deeper.

"I am." He replied, leaning away from her. The heat coming off of his body was negligent. He wasn't cold, per say, but there wasn't much in the way of regular, normal temperatures. "This place is where we met, she and I. Threatened to kill her. She stood her ground." The blade evaporated like steam into nothingness, and the cold light that surrounded them faded into darkness. "Ting. Who bakes cakes. Healer of Spring." The struggle was apparent. "We were...siblings? No, that doesn't make any sense." His right hand, then free, rose up to scratch his head.

When he again looked to Ting, his expression was still wild, but far less volatile. "Did you know her?" He took Ting's hand in his own, and transferred the hair to her.

"Spring is life," the Waterborn whispers. A tear rolls down her cheek and she blinks a few times. "What happened to you? Where did you go?" Her voice is choked. When he leans in suddenly she makes a soft squeaking noise and stiffens. "Don't. I wouldn't hurt you. You don't have to hurt me."

The faerie's breathing grows rapid and she nods with a slight upward motion. "Ting who bakes the cakes. And healed you when you were hurt. You were always getting hurt. I would always heal you. We were like siblings. We were friends. We /are/ friends."

Now with the blade gone she lets out a shaky breath. "I knew her." She looks to their hands together then her expression falls when he gives her the lock of hair. "She broke the Pledge. You were married? Your finger. Did it burn off?" She seems to have a pretty good idea about such things. The hair is tucked away in a pocket. She will deal with it later. A broken Pledge is one of the worst sins for a Changeling to commit. Or one bound to a Changeling. The Spring's hand moves to his cheek and she tilts her head to the side. "Deckard. I'm sorry." It is so very heartfelt and heavy with emotion. "Can I take care of you? Do you have someplace to go? You can come with me."

 Once the hair is tucked away, once Ting said she knew the woman the man was asking about, that's when a splash of relief...no, excitement washed over him. Oddly, he didn't show it quite as...expressively, as he once might have. Instead, he turned away, and walked away barefoot, to lean up against the remains of a tree. He slid down until his rear was firmly on the ground, and his head drooped down. "Friends..."

He looked up. "I'd hurt you. Hurt everyone, you know? Nothing matters in comparison. My hands are stained forever red." He brought his hands up to stare at them. Were they brand new? With the way he stared, they could have been. "But you know her. So that has to count. We were married. Las Vegas. Small thing, really. Then we went on our honey...something." When she mentioned the finger, he laughed. "No. I cut it off. Made a deal so I could gain power. Kind of made wearing my ring a bit awkward though." He reached under his beard to reveal a chain around his neck, looped through a small metal band.

"Deckard? Is that my name? I like the sound of that name for some reason." A little chuckle, and his head drooped forwards. "Someplace to go? We were supposed to build a cabin...together..." It was almost like someone hit a switch. One instant he was awake, and the next, he was out cold. Probably literally. He just leaned to the side, and fell right over, unconscious. How long had he been awake for? How long had he been destroying the trees? The worst part was, he never did give Ting an answer.