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Promotion or Demotion?

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"Promotion or Demotion" is a Season 3 thread written February 13-14, 2015. It takes place after "Haddock Reunites with His Family" and before "Contract with Hel."

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Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: The king had woken with a grueling headache, yet he could not let that halt his day. He had a number of items to complete today… and many were such he should have done long ago.

Like promote more individuals to leadership within the Grounded Dungeon Rebellion. Jokul Frosti’s death had left an opening in leadership, as had Akkey’s disappearance to Purgatory. Thinking the latter name panged his heart, yet he kept walking forward determinedly through camp, searching for a few specific faces.

Of the people he wanted to find, he noticed Grey Bergman first, speaking with a few of her friends. The king approached her, and not even bothering to hear what she and her friends were discussing, directly asked, “Grey, would you be able to speak to me at this current time?”

Grey Bergman: Grey jumped at the sound of King Haddock’s voice. She would never admit it, but it was strange to see the King himself walking around the camp again without the Ward—-Nalaagura possessing him, especially after they believed him to be dead for a short time. She straightened at the sight of Haddock. “Of course, sir,” she said. “Umm…may I ask what this is about?”

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "An offer," the king responded. "I am, after all, short a few members of leadership in my rebellion, and believe you might fit well into such a role."

Grey Bergman: Grey felt her jaw drop as her brown eyes widened. Did he just say…? “M-Me? A-A leadership position…?” she stammered in shock. “Y-y-your majesty…sir…I-I don’t know what to say…I mean…”

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Amused, the king responded, “I think I would prefer if you said ‘yes’ to this, of course.” With a nod, he said, “You have a level head, a strong heart, and great conviction. You have done much for the rebellion. I would be pleased if we could work together closely so we both may do more. I can outline the duties I would have you do if…” he raised his eyebrows, as though asking for her to respond to his offer.

Grey Bergman: She smiled and clasped her hands together to prevent herself from doing anything crazy in front of King Haddock. She was truly grateful to him more than ever now! He had given her chances left and right to prove herself, and now he was giving her the most amazing opportunity of all. There was no need for thinking it over. “Yes…sir, I would be more than honored to accept a position,” she said. “I’ll do anything…anything you need me to do!”

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Wonderful," the king nodded. "I need more advisors and chiefs beneath me to help me during these times. It is imperative you and I work together to unite the people now, especially after the fright recent events have brought. It seems every being outside Midgard wishes us harm. Between Svidpul, Hel, witches, and the Warden, we need to strengthen our defenses to make sure that no more malevolent entities might harm our souls."

Grey Bergman: "Yes, of course, I agree," she said, "especially Hel. I mean the fact that she came to you Nalaagura while she was possessing you—" She gasped suddenly and covered her mouth…praying to the gods that she didn’t say what she thought she said.

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock’s eyes narrowed as soon as he heard the unfamiliar name. But it was clear who Grey meant… only the Warden had possessed him. He suddenly lost the calm disposition on his face. His expression became cold, and he asked with an equally icy voice, “Who?”

Greg Ericson: Greg quickly butted in trying to save his sister from the wrath of the king. “Forgive her your Highness, Grey has been very tired as of recent. She just confused the Warden for a friend of hers on her island is all.” The boy smiled at the king as he put his hands on Grey’s shoulders. He hopped he was convincing enough.

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Did she?" the king asked, clearly not believing it. His left hand twitched toward his sword hilt. With a dangerous cast to his eye, he said, "I have reason to believe both of you have some information I lack. I would like to know full details and context immediately."

Grey Bergman: Grey gave a shaky breath when she noticed Haddock slowly reaching for his sword. No…he wouldn’t…would he…? No reason to take chances…”Sir, please, please,” she said pleadingly. “I can explain! It’s not what you think!”

Warren: Warren had been a short distance away, giving the two privacy as they talked, but her ears caught the sound of Grey’s pleading and she suddenly felt uneasy. Haddock’s posture was a little too… aggressive for comfort. In a few steps, she crossed to stand behind Grey, shoulders relaxed though inside she felt coiled like bunched yarn. “Forgive me for interrupting, your majesty,” she said, “if I may, is there some sort of misunderstanding here? I’m sure we can sort it out.”

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Explain. now. without. leaving. out. anything." He glared down at her intimidatingly.

Warren: Warren bit at the inside of her cheek, trying to calm the nerves that were unwinding beneath Haddock’s stare. She exhaled and bowed. “My king, with the utmost respect, I must inform you that I cannot.”

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "You would go against your king?" His voice was beginning to heat, especially now that he realized this entire group of companions all knew the same information he did not. About the Warden. And they were concealing it from him. ”That,” he snarled, “is treason.”

Greg Ericson: Greg stepped in front of the girls quickly. Things were spiraling out of control and he would be damned if anything happened to the two of them. “It was me sir.” He responded quickly. “I befriended Na- The Warden. I forced my friends to join me. They had nothing to do with it.” Hopefully Haddock would leave him Grey and Warren out of the whole thing now, though he was hoping Grey and Warren would keep their mouths shut and let him take this one.

Warren: Warren seized Greg’s arm in a flash, restraining. Oh, I wish you hadn’t done that….

She straightened, speaking quickly. “This is not the case. My king, please be rational. I mean no harm nor disrespect to you. But in the best interests of my own safety, and yours as well, I cannot and will not share this information with you presently. I f-fear that the current situation is unstable, and would like to, if possible, continue this conversation at a time when the utmost thought can be taken as to how it should be dealt with, and once all parties have had time to sort through their emotions to avoid unfortunate or rash actions.” She met Haddock’s eyes beseechingly. “Please, sir. This camp has endured enough terror and chaos. Let us not add to it.”

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "The method to eliminating chaos," he said in a clipped, terse voice, "is to share vital information to your superiors so we have all the information needed to defeat our enemies. THAT is how we ensure our safety, not through postponing this conversation as you so suggest.

"The Warden is our enemy, after all,” Haddock hissed, trying not to glare at his bodyguard - the result was glaring at the others before him - “and I need every BIT of information in order to rid ourselves of her threat. If you have befriended her…” His fingers actually did touch his sword this time, and did not let go. The hand rested firmly on the hilt as his fiery stare settled on Greg. “Even if you have only withheld information, you are endangering the mission and values of our people. Precisely because we are in an unstable situation, I demand that you obey me and tell me, or otherwise…” his voice lowered “…you will not be in the Rebellion at all.”

Greg Ericson: "I was curious to see how she would react to being treated with kindness." Greg answered before Warren or the Grey had a chance to say anything. "All that’s ever been done to her is out of hate, and anger. I wanted to see what would happen if she was shone kindness, and you know what? She’s not as bad as people make her out to be. She has done horrible things in the past, but who hasn’t? So I decided to become her friend, I decided to give her a second chance."

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "How noble," the king said dryly. "It’s at points like these her farce slips and her true face is revealed. Or has Vox’s death been so quickly forgotten by everyone here? That resulted because I gave her kindness, a second chance." His voice dropped. "She may have redeemable traits…" he hurried on before anyone could take note of his quiet acknowledgment "…but that does not make her any less a threat.

"You may have spoken to her, fair and well, but I had her in my body controlling me. I believe I know more than you who she is. She is dangerous. She has done horrible actions, and not in the far distant past at all; the Warden is still one who will yet do us more harm. Terminate the friendship immediately. Separate all contact from her. Or else I will not give you a second chance.”

Grey Bergman: Grey widened her eyes as she felt her heart pound. What were they supposed to do? She knew how much this friendship meant to Greg, but…they couldn’t disobey their King. Never mind the promotion he offered her just now, but he could have them thrown in prison…banished…or worse, perhaps, put to death… She couldn’t let that happen.

"Sir, we’ll do as you ask and stop the friendship," she said, "but you need to understand…this was not out of disloyalty to you or the Rebellion. Greg was just trying to resolve this peacefully and wanted to show us what he accomplished. Believe me, I wasn’t wild about it either at first. I had my sword ready to use against her in case anything happened. And she never attacked us once…she even told us that High Central even forced her into the Dungeon as well when they made her guard it. That…has to mean something…"

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "I do not care what High Central forced her to do," Haddock responded resolutely. "That does not excuse her history of actions against myself, my family, and the people of the rebellion. I am here to protect all of you. Do you not understand that? Perhaps you are more a fool than I thought.”

Greg Ericson: "Excuse you?!" Greg exclaimed at King Haddock’s statement. "Listen hear your Highness. I don’t give a rat’s ass about how you treat me. Call me names, kick me, spit on me I don’t care, but you do not ever,ever, treat my family like that.” He emphasized each, ever, by poking Haddock in the chest. “You got that.”

Grey Bergman: Grey gasped as she watched the scene unfold…and Warren said she was the rash one? Greg was ten times worse. As much as she was hurt by Haddock’s comment, she couldn’t let it bother her. She quickly stepped down in between the man and the teenager. “Greg, enough,” she said firmly holding her hands up in front of her adoptive brother. “I don’t care how I’m treated. You don’t treat King Haddock like that! Do I need to get your dragon to roast your butt or something?”

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: He ignored Grey’s words and focused entirely on Greg. A frightful, hissing rasp accompanied Haddock as he pulled the sword from his sheathe and pointed the blade tip right at the man’s heart. “You poke me in my chest, I poke you in yours.”

Warren: "Enough!" Warren physically pushed Greg a step backward and turned her back on him in order to face Haddock, smoldering disapproval in her face. "We will comply with your wishes. Greg made his decision based on honor and kindness. He acted on what he thought was best, meaning no harm. Grey and I made choices as well, influenced by Greg’s experience but of our own accord. Now you have given us instruction, and we will carry it out. It is done. I am sorry that you had to find out this way, but we were simply upholding a promise to keep sensitive information in confidence between friends. Surely you understand such loyalty. Whether or not we were misguided is no longer relevant. Your will will be done, further argument would be nothing but foolishness. Let this end before it spawns something we will all regret. Now, I pray you will excuse us before more accusations are paired with blades." She stalked backward a few steps, grabbing Grey and Greg by the hands in preparation to lead them away.

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "How can I be sure of your loyalty?" he asked. His sword did not lower. "How can I be sure your future actions will not be ones that naively compromise the safety of the rebellion?"

Warren: Warren flashed briefly back to a similar argument, not too long ago. She almost sighed. “I will speak for only myself, as I can act for only myself. It would be a lie if I said I have not worried about his. I fear frequently that I am too trusting, but I have also discovered there is immeasurable value in the benefit of the doubt. Possibilities must be weighed, but the future will always remain unpredictable. I can assure you that the safety of the members of this rebellion is of the utmost importance to me. Should I be faced with a decision that is potentially compromising of that safety, I will, appropriately, consult my king. Surely you will trust your own judgement if not mine. 

"I truly am sorry that you do not trust us. I understand, as much as one can with the limited information I have to work with. We are not strangers to this rebellion. If you doubt our character, you may think back upon our history here. Or, perhaps, observe our present and future actions, should you choose to give us that chance. Ultimately, my king, you are the one who will decide. It is not my place to persuade you."

Greg Ericson: Greg pulled his hand away from Warren and turned to face the king once more. “Look I have done nothing against this rebellion since I got here. I’ve been here, helping ever since the weapons were being smuggled out of the camp, and I helped find them, we all did. So if you really can’t trust me after all this time, then by all means, kill me.”  He finished, as he held his arms out to side, leaving him completely open.

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock’s eyebrows furrowed. “I have just been given reason not to trust you for consorting with my archenemy, whatever apologies you make, whatever reason Warren gives for you understanding me.” His grip tightened on the sword, as though preparing to drive it. “There are some things I will not abide.”

And then his eyes widened.

He did not know what the people around him saw. But he suddenly rushed into a mental flashback, an experience as vivid as the people who stood before him now. It was the psychological torture the Warden inflicted upon him that came to mind, the time she manipulated his mind… and made him experience his own death… the death of his family… over and over and over…

He had stood at the other side of that sword. He had felt it enter his own heart.

Hastily he dropped the sword to the ground.

I am not the Warden. I will not do as she did.

"But I…" he licked his lips, looking into Greg’s eyes. "…I …will not act on it. I… cannot let this temper cloud my actions. You will receive no harm from me."

Grey Bergman: Grey sighed in relief as she watched Haddock drop the sword, but that still didn’t change the fact that he basically said that he didn’t trust them anymore. She understood why he wouldn’t, but if she could just get him to see that they were trustworthy.

"Sir, please, listen to me," she said calmly stepping toward him. "I know what we did was wrong, and we’ll do whatever needs to be done to fix it. But you CAN trust us. I promise you that we didn’t do what we did to betray you or the Rebellion. You have to believe that! I helped to save you after Frosti attacked you, and we went on that mission for you like Greg said. And some of us even went looking for you, Chief Akkey, and Stonegit when it looked like that something was wrong."

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "If only it were so simple as listing off what good you have done." The king shook his head. He was disconcerted, obviously, but still also quite peeved at Grey and the others. He tried to speak, shook his head again, and then reached down to pick up his sword. "This conversation is done," he said. "If you are watched closely by other men, do not be surprised. I will let you free for now under the chance you do fully mean goodwill, but one more mistake of this nature, one more breath of a rumor in this ill vein, and you are no longer under my protection. I retract my offer, Grey. Be thankful that is all I do.”

Grey Bergman: Grey felt tears brim in her eyes, but thankfully, Haddock didn’t see it. She couldn’t let him see her weakness. She was thankful he was at least somewhat merciful. Having guards watch their every move wouldn’t be so bad right? Still…he retracted his offer… He trusted her, and she let him down…they all did…big time… She took a deep breath.

"Yes, sir," she said. "I…I understand…"

Greg Ericson: Greg saw the tears welling in Grey’s eyes and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. It took all of his restraint to not charge at Haddock. He did not take kindly to anyone making his sister cry, no matter who they are. “Come on Grey let’s go.” One thing was for certain, he was not going to listen to the King on this matter. Greg had lost all respect and loyalty for this man in these few moments.

Warren: "Thank you for your generosity." Warren bowed again, suddenly feeling leaden-limbed as the tension seemed to drain out through her fingers. She scurried to Grey and caught the older girl’s shoulders, kissing the top of her head and helping Greg steer her away. She wanted to cry, and she didn’t entirely know why. Perhaps she was worried. Perhaps Haddock wasn’t the only one who had lost trust. She reached down and held Greg’s hand.

Greg Ericson: Greg laced his finger’s with Warren’s and kissed her knuckles. He didn’t say anything yet. There was far too much on his mind and he was having trouble suppressing the urge to hit something. They made their way to the stables and everyone sat down at a nearby table, except for Greg. He leaned against a beam close to table, steaming. “What a prick.” He muttered, loud enough for the other’s to hear.

Grey Bergman : All Grey could do was stare at her hands ringing her skirt as she tried with all her might to not let the tears fall from her eyes. She silently begged to the gods that this was all some bad dream…a bad dream that she would wake up from, and then everything would be back to normal. But of course…it wasn’t a bad dream. It was real…It was all too real. King Haddock found out about their secret friendship with the Warden…because of her stupid mouth…and lost trust in them… He might have let them go free, but…there was no doubt that as soon as he assigned those guards to watch them…they were basically going to become enemies of the Rebellion. Perhaps, there was some way to make this better.

She took in a deep breath. This was not going to be pleasant… “We have to do what he says…” she said quietly. “We have to break off the friendship with the Warden.”

Greg Ericson: "Why?" Greg asked irritated. "That guy doesn’t deserve our respect. I get the whole trying to protect us thing, but he’s too blinded by his hate to see the truth right in front of him. Nala has changed and doesn’t want to see it."

Grey Bergman: The brunette sighed. Yeah…this was going to be harder than she thought… She looked up at the teen. “Greg, no matter how much we may not agree with him, he’s still our King,” she said, “and you can’t really blame him for feeling the way he does. You remember what happened when they came back. Nala used his own body to strangle his wife and almost tried to hurt his children. Plus, you heard what he said. He’s going to have guards watching our every move now. If we screw up even the slightest bit, then that’s it. We could be imprisoned, banished, or even put to death, and I refuse to let that happen. The best thing to do now is to end the friendship, and hopefully, I can find a way to convince Haddock to trust us again.”

Warren: Warren sat with her forehead pressed to the table, ears flat, fingers tangled in her hair. She hated this. She hated it. She hated going into compromise mode, negotiating, begging, groveling; being at the mercy of one unstable and temperamental person after the next, begging for her life. She hadn’t felt this way since she’d been living on the run from High Central. Or since Stonegit, when he was soulless. Maybe Haddock was soulless now.

She sat up and picked savagely at the table with her fingernails. Humans! Humans and their blind rage and corrupt governments and false beacons of hope…. This was ridiculous. She came here to help the half breeds. To make life better, to ESCAPE people who would threaten her, condemn others, lock everyone away. And here she was, under observation, a thread away from being thrown in a dungeon, perhaps executed. And for what? Giving someone a chance? Befriending someone who clearly needed it, someone branded as a monster? Well Warren had been called a monster too, plenty of times, but that didn’t mean she was one. There wasn’t a person on this planet who hadn’t done things they would take back. What gave Haddock the right to tell them who they could forgive?

But then what were they supposed to do? Warren ran her hands over her face as her friends discussed their next move. The more she thought about it, the more she was convinced that Haddock was wrong. She caught on to Grey’s proposal, and her face darkened further. 

“I’m not sure I even want his trust. He’s not in his right mind. How can he protect his people when he puts is pride above their lives? He almost stabbed Greg for standing up for you, and while you guys weren’t exactly respectful, this isn’t the Haddock I pledged allegiance to when I came here. I thought he could help us stand against High Central, but what difference have we made? What safety have we gained? When do things change?” 

She stood slowly, anger dissipating into fatigue and hopelessness. “I believed in Haddock when I came here. He was strong and brilliant and honorable. We rallied around him because he gave us hope and strength. He was a king then. Now he can barely handle himself, much less an army or a kingdom. Now a demon is less likely to harm us than our own leader.” The words tasted bitter in her mouth and she scowled. “So what if we earn his trust again? We’ve seen how easily it’s broken. Do we just go back to serving him in this rebellion? Are we even a rebellion? Are we helping the half breeds, some of whom are still in prisons probably, and who’s going to help them?” 

She was saying horrible things. Part of her mind told her she could be punished and shrank back, but the other part clenched her fists and persisted. “We could get kicked out for this! But who knows, maybe we’ll do more good on our own! I don’t want to leave this rebellion. But I want it to be worth staying for!” 

Grey Bergman: Grey stared at Warren in absolute shock. It was probably a long-shot, but…she was actually hoping that the half-Pooka would agree with her. Keep a low-profile and try to get back on the same page as Haddock again, and keep their make-shift family safe from possible imprisonment or execution. She hadn’t even seen the outburst coming… 

It hurt her to admit it, but…Warren did have a point. Was it worth it to try to get Haddock to trust them again when one slip-up broke it so suddenly? He hardly listened to her…to any of them as they tried to get him to see reason. How could they be sure that if they ever regained the King’s trust again…that it would stay that way? Would the Haddock, who welcomed her to join the rebellion a few months ago, had acted like this? Would he be so quick to threaten them after finding out that a few of his rebels made nice with a demon?

She sighed trying her best not to get angry. The last thing she needed was more fighting. “W-Warren, I…I know that it doesn’t seem like it, but…we are making a difference by being here,” she said. “Humans and half-breeds are working together for a common cause, and I know that the results aren’t what we really want. But…these things take time. High Central is a power-hungry government, and it’s hard to focus on that when you have demons and Hel on our tails.” She nervously chuckled, but she quickly became serious again as she knelt down next to Warren and ran a hand through her best friend’s hair. 

"I know Haddock seems different, especially with the way he acted today," she continued, "but…we seem to forget what he’s been through. Nalaagura possessed him… There’s no telling what she did to his mind while she was in control, but I’m sure whatever it was…it did a number on him. As his rebels, we have to try to be there to stand by him and hopefully…slowly convince him that the Warden isn’t what he labeled her as…"

Warren: Warren sighed. She propped her elbows up on the table and covered her face with her hands for a long moment. “Well I guess we have to go talk to the Warden then. As much as I hate the idea, it’s really the only thing we can do and we did promise we would….” Her arms dropped to the table. “Or rather, I did on your guys’ behalf. But… you know.” She groaned and buried her head in her arms. “This was just a dumb misunderstanding… a dumb mistake. I can’t believe it blew up into this…. I hope the Warden doesn’t get upset. I can’t handle anything else like that today.”

Grey Bergman: It was Grey’s turn to sigh. “I know…I know,” she said lowering her head in shame. “I’m sorry…It’s all my fault. If I had just kept my mouth shut, none of this would’ve happened. We wouldn’t even be having this conversation right now.”

Warren: "It’s fine. It happened, there’s not much we can do about it now…. Blaming yourself won’t make it better. I’m not sure what will. Time, I guess." She massaged her temples and looked over to Greg. "I know you’re not thrilled about this. I’m not either. But I don’t suppose you have a better idea, do you?

Greg Ericson: Greg rubbed a hand over his eyes and sighed. “No I don’t.” He replied “But I hate having to abandon her like this. I mean for all we know we are the only friends she has. I’m afraid of what’ll happen to her if we just leave her like this. But I also want to keep you guys safe.” Greg sighed in defeat. “I hate this.”

Grey Bergman: Grey closed her eyes as Haddock’s words rang clearly in her head. "Perhaps you are more a fool than I thought." She took in another deep breath trying to keep the tears from falling and stood up walking over to her little brother. “I know you do,” she said placing a hand on his shoulder. “We all do, but for now, we have to do what’s best. Hopefully, she will understand, but…I promise to both of you. This was all my fault, and I will fix this. I’ll do whatever it takes to make things better again.

Warren: “I’ll be there for whatever you need,” Warren said. “It’s all of our fault really, not that the blame matters. We’re in this mess together.” She gave Grey and Greg a watery smile. “Seems to be a trend these days.”

Greg Ericson: "Heh you’ve got that right. We’ve been getting into messes since the day we met." Greg chuckled as he remembered that day that seemed so long ago. "You guys remember that? Warren you got stuck under a Whispering Death, and we had to pull the thing off you." He laughed as he remembered trying to push the Dragon off of Warren.

Warren: Warren giggled and covered her face. “Oh, I was so embarrassed! My first time on a mission for the rebellion, my first time training a dragon, and I get stuck under the thing and have to be pulled out by complete stranger. A knight in shining armor, coming to my humiliating rescue.” She grinned as she remembered, eyes far away. “What a first meeting…. So much has happened since then.”

Greg Ericson: "Yeah." Greg said smiling at the memory. "If only things were that simple still. Now our greatest enemy has become our friend, and Ragnarok is on our doorstep." Greg sighed. "How I long for the days of our youth, where the days were as that of a daisy. Simple and sweet and seemingly everlasting. Now the the dark time of age is upon us and we are forced to watch as that beauteous flower wilts and dies."

Warren: “Every flower withers when winter comes. Perhaps it’s that time now. But the snow will thaw, and the new blossoms are always prettier than the ones they replaced. I always thought so.” Warren moved to stand next to him, giving a small but reassuring smile. “However long the cold lasts, the best is still ahead of us.”

Greg Ericson: Greg sighed. “You’re probably right. Still wish it was like that now though.” Greg paused before he looked her and asked. “Could I, maybe, have a hug? Everything’s so stressful right now, and I think I need one.”

Warren: "I know, this is hard. It’s not pleasant for any of us." Warren reached forward and took Greg’s hand, then stretched up to brush her lips against his before pulling him into a hug. "Of course. I think we all do."

Grey Bergman: "Uh…hello!" Grey suddenly said smiling. "I know you guys are in a relationship, but…I’m still your awesome unofficial adoptive big sister! Don’t I deserve a hug, too?"

Warren: “Well? Get over here then!” Warren hadn’t moved and the words were a little muffled by Greg’s shirt. She did extract one of her arms and stretch it out toward Grey in further invitation.

Grey Bergman: Grey giggled as she ran into Warren and Greg’s embrace hugging them both tightly. She sighed in content feeling her adoptive siblings’ arms around her allowing her to forget about what just happened moments ago. It was nice to know that she had people, aside from Shadow and her parents, who would never leave her no matter what she did. “I love you guys,” she said. 

Greg Ericson: All of Greg’s emotions, his anger, his frustration, and now his love, had all built up and now he couldn’t help the tears that spilled from his eyes. “I love you too big sister.” He said with a sniffle.

Warren: Greg was sniffing. Perplexed, Warren raised her head, then noticed his tears. She raised a hand and brushed the wetness from his cheek, smiling. “It’s okay. We’re all gonna be okay.”

Greg Ericson: Greg smiled at Warren. “I know.” He said. “I know.”

Grey Bergman: Grey smiled sadly as she ruffled Greg’s hair. She was about to say something when she noticed something behind Greg. There was his dragon, Barry Manilow sleeping in the stall, but she noticed something in his saddle. “What in the name of Thor…?” she asked pulling away from the group. She walked over to where Barry slept and gently pulled a folded piece of paper out. “Greg, I think this is something for you.”

Greg Ericson: Greg’s eyebrows scrunched together as he took the paper from Grey’s hands. “Now who would leave me a letter?” Greg asked as he unfolded the paper. His eyes scanned over the paper taking in its contents. After he finished he dropped his arm to his side and said. “She’s gone.”

Warren: "Gone? Gone where? Gone who?" Warren joined Greg at the saddle. "The Warden? Where would she go?" 

Greg Ericson: "Yeah. It’s from her." Greg replied, "I-I don’t know where she went. I mean she didn’t say." He handed the letter to Warren and slumped back against Barry, saddened. "She didn’t- She didn’t even say goodbye."

Warren: Warren read the letter briefly before quietly handing it to Grey. She stepped forward and took Greg’s hands looking up and into his face, trying to catch his eyes. “She did as much as she could, Greg. Some people… some people are just like that. They have trouble expressing themselves, but that doesn’t mean that their feelings are any less.” She paused, remembering her father for a moment. Then she continued. “Nalaagura took many risks on your behalf. I don’t think you realize that, and I don’t either. I don’t know much about demons. But you made a great impact on her. She really cares about you. Maybe this is just what she had to do.”

Greg Ericson: Greg sighed. “Maybe. I don’t know I just wish she had said goodbye ya’ know? But whatever.” He sighed again and looked over at Grey. “What do you make of all this, Grey?”

Grey Bergman: Grey exhaled and shook her head. “I’m not sure what to think, to be honest,” she said. “Let me see it.” She quickly took the letter from Greg and read it herself. “Well…it…sounds like she wasn’t forced to leave. There was probably something she had to do, but…for her to leave a letter, I’d have to agree with Warren. It says a lot about the impact you had on her. Besides, it’s not like she left completely, she gave us a way to contact her. All we would have to do is find this Weaver-demon-person-thing, and it will lead us to her.”

Greg Ericson: "Yeah, but still… I miss her already." He frowned and stood up and said. "Well uh… I uh, I got some stuff I need to do, so I’ll see you guys later?" With that, he began to walk away.

Grey Bergman: Grey sighed in defeat as she read through the letter and thought back on the whole situation with Haddock. She ran a hand through her hair and looked up at Warren. “He’s not wrong,” she said. “Why couldn’t she come and look him in the eye to say goodbye? If she wants to be his friend so badly, why would she leave without warning?”

Warren: “…Maybe she found out what happened? Haddock almost stabbed Greg and it was kind of her fault, a little. Or maybe it has to do with the Empress? Or Hel? I honestly don’t know anymore.” She rubbed at her eyes. “I’m sick of making decisions. Things change so quickly….”

Grey Bergman: "I know," she said wrapping an arm around the Pooka-hybrid. "I know…but still, she told him how to contact her." She then got an idea. "Perhaps, we can take advantage of that."

Warren: Warren returned the embrace, but after Grey’s last remark, she pulled away and took a few steps backward. “No,” she said, “no, no, we can’t just keep doing this! We can’t just throw caution to the wind anymore this isn’t just about us- What if we make a mistake? I can’t- I need to think.” She rubbed at her hairline with her fingertips. “I just… we need to think about this.”

Grey Bergman: "Of course, we have to think about this," Grey said holding her hands up to calm Warren down. "Now that Haddock knows about our friendship with the Warden, we need to make sure no one catches us having anything to do the demons, but Greg is our friend. And if the Warden has left, then…maybe we can find her to…you know…let Greg have a proper goodbye…let him see her one last time."

Related Threads Edit

Haddock Reunites with His Family

Contract with Hel

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