An (Ab)normal day at the guild hall 3.5Edit
She slinked away from the guild hall proper, no one noticed her in the shadows. She kept the Eye of Amoth hidden at her side. It had showed her things, things were not as they appeared. There was evil afoot, and more importantly it wanted her. These images had someone else in it, and he was here. She wanted to help him, after all her very life was at stake. It had showed her other things about this man, if you could call him that. The images she saw, there was no markings or recognition in the acts he performed or did to signify he was still a man. The evil thing that was now stalking her, was growing in power. The man she was now after seemingly, the only one that could do anything about it, didn’t care. She would confront him and learn the truth, if he were a man she could help him, if he were still a monster she would have to deal with him first.
She continued to move around the guild holdings, towards the back of the Warrior’s Lodge. This is where the Eye had told her to go. It was an odd place to find him, she had to admit that it, but the Eye had never lied to her before. She stood against the wall, pressing her back against it tightly, almost if she would fall over if she didn’t. The images the Eye had been showing her the past few days, consumed her thoughts, her very being. While she tried and slept, the images would flow, her dreams had been lost to her. The only thing she saw now was the future. Fitfully sleeping the past few days and lack of eating had given her once beautiful face, the signs of ragged misuse. Her eyes were dilated, she had blackish-purple rings around them. She had an almost feral gleam in her eye, like anything could be a food source. Her gaze was hollow, unable to keep focused on any item or person for too long.
While she waited, she gently stroked the Eye of Amoth with her left hand. Whispering to it, about the visions and power. If it answered it did so in her thoughts.
Akuyim and Reggie left the stables, and were headed for the guild mess hall. Halfway there, he decided to pay Khandivya a visit, to continue his game before dinner. That would cheer him up. Of course he knew his luck, she wouldn’t be done from her meeting and just head straight to dinner when it was done. He decided to go anyway, he also decided he would sneak in the back door of the Warrior’s Lodge, that way she wouldn’t notice him until it was too late.
As they rounded the corner, he was surprised to see Shahkra step out in front of him. Taking a step back as her tall, lithe frame graced his entire frame of vision. “Ah Miss Shah, why hello there...you know you look like hell” he commented as he looked at her face. Her eyes were shallow and empty. In a voice just as shallow and empty she whispered “I know”
He stood there perplexed a moment, things Shahkra usually said had to be re-evaluated a second sometimes a third a time, before the listener understood what she meant. He was hoping she would at least elaborate on her previous statement. He raised an eyebrow as they stood there looking at each other, though in truth he felt like she was looking through him. In the same voice she whispered “I know”.
“Uh-huh that is great Miss Shah, if you would excuse me I have matters to attend to.” he said back. He proceeded to step around her. He had finished making it around her, when her free hand found its way to his shoulder and with more force then he thought she could possibly muster, spun him around to face her. In a voice three shades lower then demonic and four decibels louder then frightening she growled “ I know yew are scared” and with that she thrust the Eye of Amoth directly in front of his eyes.
The Eye found it’s way in front of his eyes. Images began to play before him, just a split seconds worth. But it was enough. He closed his eyes as soon as he was able. He thrust his left hand out grabbing Shahkra’s wrist that held the Eye. “Get that thing outta my face” he growled and with that he shoved the ball away.
She too was unaware of the force that he pushed back on her with, she began to stumble, luckily he hadn’t let go of her wrist. So she was able to right herself. She wrenched her arm free from his clutches. Reggie began to growl, low at first almost unnoticeable.
“Yew dare push da Shahkra Khan, yew are insolent. Yew scared about dyin. Da Eye never lies.” she nearly yelled at him. “Yew suppose ta stop it, yew don’t stop it. Yew stand here, yew let him kill, let him get stronger” she continued.
It was now evidently clear to him, she had seen things about him, he had never spoken to anyone. She could be only referring to the demon. Only Nekko knew the story, and that was only out of necessity, even she wasn’t aware of it all. Somehow Shahkra had learned more, it didn’t take a genius to figure out where that knowledge came from, it was that accursed bauble she carried like a lost puppy. The images he saw now danced in his head, uncaring of whether he wanted them there or not. He squeezed his eyes closed, even harder in hopes that the images would go away. It didn’t work. Dark desires and the future lay nestled in his brain. “What do you know of me, Miss Shah? Tell me what has that thing told you?” he growled.
“Da Eye tell me enuff, yew are nuthin but a bad man, a monster, yew suppose ta stop it. Yew don’t. Yew afraid ta die. Yew a coward.” Shahkra growled back.
“Is that what it says to you. Ha! For all your limitless knowledge you have limited sense to use it. Oh I may be afraid to die, but not for the reasons you think.” He shot back, his anger was growing, he was about to lose his composure. He didn’t want to, that was the furthest thing from his mind, if only she had caught him at a different time.
“It kills, every day, every night. Souls no find peace because yew don’t stop it” Shahkra continued. “So yew scared ta die, the reasons why are not important dat is whut da Eye says. Yew need ta stop it. Dat is your job. But yew don’t and da Shahkra Khan wants ta know why?” she spoke triumphantly.
“What?!?!” he shouted back. “ The hells you say. My reasons are damn important and my own. I will not let you pass judgement on me, because some little trinket says so.” he glared at her. “ Oh and you think I don’t know what it does, you think I don’t know it grows each and every day.” he continued his own voice raising. His body began to shake, rippling waves of rage began to overcome him. Reggie growled louder this time, mirroring the anger in his companion.
Startled she took a step back, the Eye hadn’t prepared for this outcome. If she had to she would burn him and his demon cat to the ground. Instinctively he took a step forward, the anger sweeping over him.
“I’m going to assume since you called me a monster, it showed you everyone I killed. It showed you the what, the where, the when and the how. Tell me Miss Shah did it ever show you why?” His face curled into a snarl. His anger still prevalent.
She nodded. The Warrior’s lodge no longer offered their discussion cover. She stood her ground defiantly this time. She was going to regain control of the situation the Eye began to feed her.
“The why?...is simple yew are a bad man, a monster” she said as if he just asked her the most simplest of questions.
“I AM NO MONSTER!” He shouted at her. This garnered the attention, of Caladi who was walking back to the mess hall from the herbalist’s garden. She stood there nearly dumbfounded at the confrontation spilling out in front of her.
“For each one I killed, I had a reason. Whether it was right or wrong there was a reason. Every time I wash these hands, there is a stain that will never come off, every time I close my eyes, their screams fill my dreams, every time this heart beats a darkness grows. I am no longer that thing I once was. It doesn’t mean I don’t use what I learned during that time now.” He stated back. He was trying very hard to stay in control.
“If dat is all true whut about da ones it kills? Don’t yew care about dem?”
“So you wanna know why? Fine.” he continued. “To him, this is a game. It’s a game I can’t win, at least not yet. He wants one last big stand from me, and I know I’m not ready. He aches for one last stand, to see what I can throw at him. That is the only reason im still alive.”
She looked confused at him while he spoke. She tilted her head to one side.
Akuyim thought for a moment before continuing, “It’s like this. Let’s say you decide to play game of chess with Keishe.” She opened her mouth to interject, but he rambled on obliviously. “In the beginning both of you are on equal terms. You play and you win some and you lose some. In the process, you are learning how Keishe thinks. Soon the games get better and are played for hours at a time until the winner isn’t decided until the very last move. Then as she gets better, and learns how you play you both end up swapping last move victories. Until you use the Eye. The Eye shows you the future, it shows you how to counter all of her moves, sometimes just one move ahead, sometimes several. Until you can win the game, even before Keishe sits down at the table. In frustration, she gives up. You still ache to play, but without your best adversary, your victories over lesser opponents is shallow and meaningless. You even try tempting Keishe with power in hopes she would return to playing. Yet she knows she can’t beat you in order to learn this power and so she sets out to find something to counter the Eye. That is how he thinks of this. He wants one last game with me, and is testing me to see what I can come up with.” He paused a moment, “And about the ones he kills to get to me, I have killed many, many times. To me they are just numbers on a dark conscience. When the day comes that I can rid myself of him, their souls will find peace.”
His anger was still seething, he hoped that Shahkra would just let this be the end. He had answered all her questions, he had a gnawing feeling in the pit of his stomach, the familiar angry feeling.
She looked at him a moment, fragile, shaking in anger. “I can help yew, I can give yew da power yew need. I da Shakra Khan shall help yew.” she boldly stated.
“You can’t help me, no one can. You can keep your power, you will need it for yourself. For you need to understand, you don’t control the Eye. It’s controlling you.” he shot back to her.
She stared at him in disbelief a moment, she had more power then she knew what to do with. He was wrong, she knew it. He would need her, one day this she knew.
He turned away from her, walking away from her. He was done talking, he didn’t want to see anyone or anything. His anger was consuming him. He stopped, reared his head back and roared at the sky, Reggie mimicked him a moment later. Reggie’s roar could be heard for miles, and it reverberated through Akuyim’s chest. He let Reggie take his anger and turn it into the hellish roar the guild heard. Some stopped what they were doing, others clambered to see what would make such a racket.
When he had no more anger to give, he turned back to Shahkra. With but a simple nod, he parted company. However, he was nodding to nothing but a shimmering silhouette that used to be Shahkra.