"Consequences and Luxuries" is a November 22, 2014 Season 2 thread.
Full Text Edit
Part 1 Edit
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri gently places another finished nadder spike throwing dagger beside her. She lost all of her other ones in the labyrinth… so now she needs to make more. Dagger has been wonderful about supplying the spikes for her.
It’s a surprisingly calming and therapeutic task. It’s given her some space to think about the state of things.
Too weak to fight the witches… don’t know about dragon fire… that might work… I only know physical combat… I was so bad at magic, no potential or ability at it, but that might be the only chance now…
There were choices to make, contingency plans to put together. She’s already thought them through. Right now though, if she’s going to keep this place safe from things they can’t see…
I need to learn magic.
This isn’t going to end well, is it.
Pitch Black: Pitch peered from under his hood at the girl. “My, my, dear.” He said getting her attention, “Quite a trip you took… Those water are awfully tricky… But I do know they like to take you to what you fear most… Most people think death… but a witch labyrinth?”
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri drops the spike she was working on. Her jaw opens. And closes. And opens again.
Then without hesitating, and pushing through all the hurt still running through her body, she jumps to her feet, marches to Pitch, and punches him in the face.
"Look at what you did!" she shrieks. "This is your fault! I nearly died! YOU DID THIS!!"
Pitch Black: Pitch rubbed at his now sore jaw and took a step back. What is wrong with these people? Does no one believe in a friendly conversation anymore?
“This… This is not my fault… You threw yourself between us… and you thought of that dreadful place, dear…” Pitch countered.
Toshioka Kiri: "Well excuse me for trying to stop two people from killing each other!" she shouts back. "Sudden fight going on? Generally not something you want happening!"
She glares and grits her teeth. “And oh, lovely to know that I fear witch labyrinths. Of course I do. Most people who’ve been in them before would.”
She suddenly groans and grabs at her right arm. “Dammit! And now you made my stitches reopen! Today is a terrible day!”
Pitch Black: "Who taught you to throw yourself into a fight like that?" Pitch glanced around looking for something that he could wrap the small wound. "And it was not some sudden fight. He should have known it was coming when he left Akkey at the lake… And why would you go to a witch labyrinths in the first place?"
Pitch felt around in his cloak for a piece of cloth. He used the last one on Akkey. “I’m afraid I am out of things to wrap up wounds…”
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri ends up grabbing the lower part of her tunic and using it to staunch the bleeding. She’ll deal with it later.
"Thanks for the concern," she mutters. She looks up at him darkly. "I was trying to disable both of you to stop the fight. Violence should be a last resort." She suddenly snorts at her own recklessness. "Excepting my fist. That was retribution."
The memory of the witch’s labyrinth returns. She frowns. “I’m surprised. What do you know of witch’s labyrinths? Who told you about them? Or did you overhear it?”
Pitch Black: Pitch rubbed at his jaw again but shook his head. “Retribution” He whispered. “Witch labyrinths… Well can’t say I’ve ever seen one… The most I know is what I’ve heard from people traveling through… But you falling through allowed me to see one…” Pitch cringed. “Which reminds me… I hope someone cleaned up the water… Would hate for anyone else…”
Pitch shrugged. “You should really get that looked at or in the very least wrapped soon…”
Toshioka Kiri: "I’ve spent several days unconscious and bedridden. I have no idea. I’d assume it evaporated by now," Kiri says flatly. She refuses to let Pitch get the upper hand in this conversation. But she will definitely look into it.
She also catches a small implication from Pitch’s words. People traveling through… so… either they’ve made the contract or are survivors… or knew contractors…
She glares up at Pitch. “Why exactly are you here? Are you really interested in the labyrinths, or is there something else you want?”
Pitch Black: Pitch simply shrugged towards the girl. “I came because I saw where you fell through and heard that you had survived somehow… Struck my interest because it is not easy getting out… Or so I heard…”
Pitch reached in his cloak and ripped a piece of cloth from his tunic… He reached out for her arm. “Plus you were the only one with information on Akkey…”
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri looks at him suspiciously. She doesn’t trust him and pulls her arm away. “I’m fine,” she mutters, shaking her head. “And I had help surviving. It doesn’t change the fact that I was in there for hours.”
And I really thought I was going to die in there…
Pitch Black: Pitch nodded and placed the fabric back inside his cloak but kept an on the wound. “Help? Who would be in a labyrinth to help?”
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri shrugs. She doesn’t want to give the name. “Same as me,” she replies. “Someone who either has past experience with witches and their creators, or has extensive magical ability, or has made the contract. I’m assuming the contract isn’t something you’re aware of.”
Pitch Black: Pitch pulled at his hood. “So you had help from someone you don’t know?” That could end badly…
"Contract? I’m aware of some contracts… Mostly ones made through possessions…"
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri thinks for a moment. Contracts made through possessions… interesting.
"No possession here," she answers lightly. "But the price is steep. And it’s where witches come from. And it’s why you should never trust the talking white cat."
Pitch Black: Pitch nodded at this information. “Ah prices they do not come easy… and a talking white cat you say?” He thought on how that could possibly be relevant… “But we’re getting of subject… Why is a girl like you even going through to a witch labyrinth?”
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri narrows her eyes at him. She doesn’t trust him, after all.
"Because it’s a horror unlike any other," she replies. "Witches are… not evil. They’re filled with regret, despair, and utter self loathing. But they lash it out upon the world in quite possibly the most horrific way possible. Their labyrinths represent that, personalized to each individual witch. It’s an extremely unsettling experience… not to mention that it’s often like walking into some child’s very disturbing drawing. And…"
It takes her a moment to decide whether or not to tell him this piece of information.
"When you once knew the person behind the witch, knew their thoughts, dreams, lives, and, and then you’re trapped inside their labyrinth, it…"
She doesn’t finish. She looks down at her arm focusing on it in an attempt to settle her emotions on the matter.
Pitch Black: Pitch listened carefully and watched as her eyes fell to her arm. He then held out the piece of cloth he had earlier ripped. “I see.. Someone close? I lost someone… actually many people and things…” He stopped. “So you want a way to help this someone?”
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri glances at him, holding her arm protectively. She then looks away.
"I did lose someone, yes," she replies, closing her eyes. Then she opens them again, but they are narrow and deadset. "But the only way to help her now is to put her out of her misery. I’m working on it. Slowly."
Pitch Black: Pitch sighed at the girl's protectiveness. Of course, he understood why. He sent her to probably the worst place on Earth. “Well you can not help someone with your arm like that. Please, at least take tie this above the cut.” He continued to hold out the cloth. “So you pan on helping her out by… making her leave the labyrinth? Won’t that just harm more than help? Maybe the white cat can take messages? Right?” Pitch was still confused about the talking animal deal.
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri glances at him again. Finally she relents and takes the cloth, still refusing to look in his direction as she binds the wound. The bleeding hadn’t been too bad at least.
"That’s… that’s not the case," she speaks softly. "My friend has lost her humanity. She’s now a witch. The labyrinth was created by her. Now she wreaks curses and destruction upon the world, while she’s trapped in her own despair. Death is a kinder fate.
"And those white cats… it calls itself Kiyu… they are the contract makers. They’re the reason she’s like this. I could never trust them."
Pitch Black: Pitch nodded, letting the information click with the other things he had been told. “So the only way is death? And this is better than breaking the contract with the white cat?”
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri shakes her head. “Can’t break it. It’s a permanent thing. One wish… any wish… no matter how impossible… in return for unlimited magical power and the supposed duty to battle witches.” She laughs. “Of course, Kiyu never tells anyone the details, that your soul itself is extracted from your body in the contract making process, and that you eventually turn into a witch. The faster the better. That’s its goal in the first place.”
She eyes him suspiciously. “Why are you trying to help anyway? Or is there some ulterior motive and I just damned several people by telling you all this?”
Pitch Black: Pitch gave a slight laugh, “No. You can trust you and your friends, family acquaintances are safe… Well safe from me.” He looked at the child with a slight concern. He knew how emotions could effect the way people thought and acted. “But the souls, where are they keeping them? I mean with other contracts they are tied to the possessor. So they are kept in a certain place.”
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri tilts her head at him curiously. She isn’t sure what to think of him. She’s not entirely sure why she continues to tell him all this either. Perhaps it’s the fact that few have listened to her in the past.
"Souls are kept with the contractor in a container. The contractor thinks it’s the source of their magical power… which it is… but they aren’t told that it’s their soul. The soul needs to stay close enough to the body in order for both to keep functioning."
She grimaces, remembering how they had found this out. It had not been a pleasant day.
She decides she might as well explain this. It’s not as though Pitch can create the contract after all.
"If the container breaks, the contractor dies. Of course…"
She pulls out the grief seed and raises it up. “When the contractor becomes a witch, the container shatters, because the soul becomes… this. What I’m holding in my hand is the remains of a contractor’s corrupted soul. Kind of morbid, thinking about it…” she shudders.
Pitch Black: Pitch looks down at the object she pulls out. “So whose do you hold now? Is that your friend?” He knits his eyebrows in confusion with a slight grimace. “Have you thought of breaking this? Or maybe have who ever gave it to you break it? Or even maybe the cats?”
Toshioka Kiri: She shakes her head. “No. This… was the soul of the witch in that labyrinth you sent me to.” She gives Pitch a dirty look at that. “These are pretty indestructible… not to mention, they hold enough of the corruption that I think breaking it would end badly. They’re known to rehatch into a witch if given too much.”
It scares her for a moment, thinking about more of these implications. She had only figured out several of them while bedridden and thinking about it.
"The contractors… normally use them to cleanse their souls of corruption," she explains. "It’s how they extend the amount of time they have before becoming witches… though, Kiyu tells them that it recharges their magical power." Recharges their magical power, my ass. “Kiyu used to take these and dispose of them for us… I have no idea what to do with a used grief seed.”
Pitch Black: Pitch nods “Really sorry about sending you there… Well I mean the waters sent you there. But I am sorry they did. Most people think death is the worst thing…” Pitch scratches the back part of his neck. “Which now i kind of understand why you would think…” He pauses. “Okay… So if you have this… Isn’t someone or Kiyu looking for it? I mean it is a soul…”
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri shrugs. “Beats me. Kiyus are oddly obsessed with efficiency… so I doubt they’ll come for this soul until it’s been used for cleansing corruption a few times. Though… I did see one Kiyu the night before you sent me through the waters. Killed it and burnt its body for good measure.”
Pitch Black: "So they are looking for it… What do you think they’ll do to you when they find out you’ve had it?" Pitch asked with slight worry for the girl’s safety. "Why do you still have it? What do you plan on doing with it?"
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri gives a half shrug at that. “Dunno. The Kiyus will probably just try to convince me to make the contract. It’s all they really do. Find potential contractors and convince them to make contracts. ‘You’ll make an amazing magical person! You have such potential! You can wish for anything at all!’” she mimics the cheerful, but frank sounding voice of the white cats.
Pitch Black: Pitch nods, “But you won’t right? You won’t take that contract?” He knew her answer but was making sure. “So you can help your friend.”
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri grits her teeth. “No. I have no plans to make that contract.” Unless… I hope it never comes to that. “But I can’t help her the way I am now. Physical ability like mine only goes so far against witches… and I’m not a mage. It’s ironic that the contractor, with all the abilities they gain, is best equipped to fight witches…”
Pitch Black: Pitch could tell she would do whatever it took. Stubborn Viking kids! "Well you have lots a friends… Some I’m sure could help… I’m afraid I am limited to water."
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri’s brow furrows. She glances up at Pitch and raises an eyebrow.
"What exactly… is it with water that you do?" she asks slowly. "It transports people to the place of their worst fears, as you’ve already said… but… is there more? I’ve only heard the stories from the other Rebellion members."
Pitch Black: Pitch shook his head. He should have known this was coming. “Simple things really… transportation mostly, but uh, I can lift water and spread it. But thats about it. I only discovered this about 10 years… I would like to learn more but well the librarian and I are not on speaking terms… Wait there are other Nixes?”
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri sighs, wondering if she’ll ever be able to use magic. Then she raises an eyebrow. “The librarian… Hemlock? I don’t think I’ve seen her around for some time… but then again, we’re not on the best of terms. I don’t trust her. And… I’m not sure who Nix is…? I think Chief Akkey came back recently though.”
Pitch Black: "Yes, Hemlock. And you probably shouldn’t trust someone that quiet and with that much knowledge…" Pitch interrupted her.
"Nixes are… Oh how do you say it… Water-benders? They can manipulate water. And I know Akkey is a Nix. She is after all… Wait… Akkey is back?" Pitch didn’t know what to do with the information. Akkey’s back.
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri blinks briefly. She hadn’t known about waterbenders. I wonder if that’s what Tezz’s… other side is… still…
"I - yeah," she says hesitantly. She knows Pitch is concerned about his daughter. "Just overheard though while at the camp, I haven’t seen her, so I don’t know for sure. I’ve been unconscious most of this time… it was only about today that I finally managed to get out of bed and move around."
Pitch Black: Pitch twisted his hands under his cloak. “I understand…” Pitch ran his tongue over his teeth. “So you don’t know a room or anything that she might be in?”
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri shook her head. “I have no idea. I know you’re worried about her… sorry I’m not of any more help. It’s literally just… word around camp that I overheard.”
Pitch Black: Pitch laid a hand on Kiri’s shoulder carefully. “Thank you, child. I hope you understand… I would like to help you too but… She’s my daughter.” He turned to leave but quickkly stopped. “Promise me that you will not make a contract. Even if it is to help your friend.” His eyes searched her face.
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri isn’t sure what to make of this.
"I’m not going to. I don’t want to make the contract," she states. "And I won’t make it if I don’t have to. But… sometimes…"
She glances down at herself, remembering what Lillith’s wish was.
"Sometimes we need a miracle. And Lillith isn’t the only witch out there."
She looks down and clenches her fists. “At least I’m fully aware of the consequences. Few people have that luxury.”
Part 2 Edit
Toshioka Kiri: [takes place sometime after Pitch and Kiri’s conversation]
Kiri sits with her collection of nadder spike daggers, playing idly with one of them. She doesn’t know what to think of Pitch anymore. But it’s been quite some time since she was able to speak that frankly with another. Even if she still didn’t quite trust him.
"So, it’s on your mind, is it."
Kiri spins around with the dagger in her hand and nearly slices it through the Kiyu’s neck.
“What do you want?" she spits.
Its expression doesn’t change.
"You still have potential, you know," it says cheerfully. "That girl who wished for you. It’s thanks to her that you have any magic potential at all. You’re an important resource now."
"It’s thanks to her that I’m anything,” Kiri snarls. “You’re not interested in anyone unless they’re of use to you. Am I the one you’ve been looking for?”
The face looks back at her just as blankly as before.
"You know everything, and yet you think of contracts. That in itself makes you very intriguing," it replies. "Plus you’ll need somewhere to dispose of that grief seed if you’re not going to use it. There are others in the camp with potential, though none of us have approached any yet - "
That does it.
Kiri slices the thing’s throat. Then she whistles for Dagger once again to burn the body.
No one is going to fall for this thing’s trap. No one.
I think I know what that wish is, if I ever have to make it.