"Red" is a Season 4 thread written March 8, 2015.
NOTE: THIS THREAD HAS BEEN GIVEN A TRIGGER WARNING FOR TORTURE. PLEASE READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION.
Full Text Edit
Part 1 Edit
Orskaf Donz: The ride back to the fortress was smooth, and peaceful. It was over, after a life time, Kiri was finally able to rest. She and Dagger glided effortlessly across the sky, and then she saw something down below. It was a dragon, fighting against some sort of chain, it looked injured.
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri winced, looking down. She had time… and any innocents should be taken out of the zone quickly.
She nudged Dagger downwards towards the injured dragon, holding up her left hand and summoning a barrier to slice through the chain.
Orskaf Donz: The chain fell away, and the Zippleback screeched at her, sparking furiously as its pupil contracted with fright. It thrashed, another chain around it’s leg, blood flex pattered the snow from a severely injured wing, and Kiri could see one of it’s heads lay limp and dead on the ground.
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri grimaced, noting its injuries. She hopped off of Dagger.
"Keep watch for me, will you? I wouldn’t be surprised if the hunters are still in the area."
As Dagger left to keep watch, Kiri quickly severed the other chain with the barrier. She eased herself up to the dragon, speaking in soft tones, urging it to calm. She wasn’t going to hurt it.
The dead head, she could do nothing for. But she could stop the bleeding on the first neck, and save the wing.
Quietly, she withdrew her her soul gem from her ring, placing it into her hand. Then she held it up to the neck, letting the magic flow to heal the severed neck and make it stop bleeding.
Orskaf Donz: An arrow flew out of nowhere, striking the dragon in the heart. In its last moments the beat reared, bucking Kiri off. The girl fell, a ground spike shooting up through the side of her foot as she hit the ground.
From around a set of tree’s Odin soldiers ran out, Orskaf in the lead. Knowing he had limited time, the man hurled himself forward, crashed into the ninja viking, grabbed her hand, and bit off her first too fingers, taking the ring with it. He spat the digits off to the side, hauling back his fist, but was side tackled by Dagger.
Orskaf struggled, his eyes widening as he starred up at the dragon. But the attack was short lived, as an Valhallan soldier dashed forward, hitting Dagger across the head with a war hammer, rendering the dragon unconscious.
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri screamed, half out of pain, half out of utter rage. She recognized Donz and these men. The darkened fury from within rose up again, wanting to kill, destroy, destroy -
Her soul gem had been knocked from her hand, rolled across the clearing and out of reach. The ring was gone, bitten away by Donz.
The access to her magic was gone.
Dagger was still alive, she could tell, she had to get her foot free. In desperation, she grabbed a Nadder spike and threw it directly into the head of the Valhallan soldier than had hit Dagger. She grabbed a second spike, readying it to throw at Donz, while she fumbled with her remaining fingers to find her dagger, prepared to saw her foot off if she had to. She could reattach it later.
Orskaf Donz: The soldier dropped like a stone and Orskaf ran past him. Jumping into the air, Orskaf through his full weight into a punch that connected with Kiri’s jaw with devastating force. Her vision spun, and then snapped into darkness.
Part 2 Edit
Orskaf Donz: When Kiri came to she was cold, and sore. Her hands were chained above her head in the center of a drafty shack. Her feet barely touched the ground and also had shackles around them that attached to the wall behind her. A magic draining sigil was carved into the ground around her, and another small one cut into her arm. She had been stripped of her armor and cloths and she saw Orskaf sitting across the room from her, waiting with a stern expression on his face. A small rectangular apple peeler slid across the fruit he held in his hand, the peeling dropping to the floor. “Can you hear yet?” he asked, glancing up, his face hard. “Why don’t you tell me about that ring…witch…”
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri grit her teeth. Remember your training. Remember what you are. You can get through this. It’s coming…
"Are you saying that the ring is a witch, or that the witch back in the village was a ring witch?" she asked pleasantly. "I’m afraid the answer is false either way."
Focus… focus… numb yourself…
Orskaf Donz: Orskaf had been about to take a bit out of his apple, when he stopped to listen to her question. He lowered it, and then carefully let the razor like peeler take off another strip of the fruits skin. “Allow me to reiterate,” he said. “The ring that was on your finger…tell me everything about it.”
Toshioka Kiri: She glanced up at her hand, noting that her fingers were still gone.
Not a nightmare. This is real. Dagger, please, please be okay. Damn this man…
She took a deep breath and withdrew her senses to her soul gem. Wherever it was. It was still within range, as she could move her body.
Everything became numb. She physically could feel nothing.
Now I’m ready.
"Tell me what you know about trinkets, Judge Donz," she continued in her pleasant voice. "Promise rings, marriage rings, sentimental value… honestly, I’m surprised you couldn’t tell."
Orskaf Donz: The Judge’s working hands came to a stop, the silence deadly. “I see,” he said. He walked over to her, starring into her eyes. He reached with his hard metal glove and grabbed the viking by the nose, crunching down on it and letting the metal pinch and cut her skin. He kept his gaze even, seeing if there was any reaction to the pain.
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri felt the crunch and cut, able to register it, but no pain came. She did her best to cry out as though it had.
"Ooow!" she shouted in a nasally voice, doing her best to maintain her earlier demeanor. "Why would you do that?!"
Orskaf Donz: Orskaf shoved her face hard. “Damn you witch you didn’t feel a thing! Your eyes are as dry the WildestWest dessert!” he backed up, looking infuriated. He stood in front of her, panting heavily, his eyes shooting back and forth as he tried to process this. He then clicked his tongue, rolling his eyes and walking to a side door. “Mage,” he called. “Find a way to contain that ring so she can’t draw power from it, if that fails then find me a spell that can let this bitch feel pain.”
"Aye sir," a voice called from inside and Orskaf growled as he walked back over to Kiri.
"Last chance girl," he said, tossing the apple aside as if he had lost his appetite. "Tell me what it does."
Toshioka Kiri: She gave him a side glance. Any sane person would be worried at this point, but some inner part of her was cackling. Laughing. Amused. Waiting for the corruption to take over.
Orskaf Donz: Orskaf exhaled long and slowly through his nose, walking around behind her. “I trust that concept can still get through to you, even if pain doesn’t” he said. He examined the apple peeler in his hand, and then rested it on Kiri’s shoulder and smoothly dragged it down her back, coming to a stop at her tail bone. Kiri felt him grab to strand of skin, giving it a quick jerk to pluck it from her back, and then briskly walked back around in front of her, draping the long line of flesh over her shoulder.
Toshioka Kiri: Don’t feel. Don’t feel. Don’t feel. You chopped off your own leg once. Same thing. Don’t feel. Let the witch hold you steady.
She stared her own flesh now stuck over her shoulder. She couldn’t hold down a visible wince of revulsion.
"… ew. Ew."
She continued blinking at Donz with that disgusted look on her face.
"… Eugh," she finally managed.
Orskaf Donz: "Tell me about the ring…" Orskaf mumbled.
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri shut her eyes. She imagined that it would grow much worse than this.
This body is just a flesh puppet anyway.
"Good luck," she murmured, a dark chuckle escaping her.
Orskaf Donz: Rolling his eyes, Orskaf walked behind her again. “The last time I had a creature in a position like this, it was my first hooked shark.” the apple peeler slid down her back again, and Kiri felt another strip of her get tossed over her shoulder from behind. “Only it was dead before I skinned it.”
Toshioka Kiri: "Well then," she said in an oddly light lilt, "That’s something we already have in common."
Dead shark, dead me. When was the last time you were truly alive, or human? Oh yes… Stonegit was still insane, King Haddock was still thought dead, and you were naive, running towards the darkness that the white cats offered.
"So where are we anyway?" she asked, trying to remain utterly pleasant as though this was nothing more than a haircut. "Nice shack. I applaud the interior designer."
Orskaf Donz: In quiet frustration, Orskaf rested his forehead to Kiri’s back. “Answer my question or I’m peeling off another strip…only this one will be from a place I’ve already visited with my blade.”
Toshioka Kiri: "Go ahead," she chuckled darkly. "Does it look like I really care? You didn’t really answer my question either."
Everything was set, everything settled… oh, to destroy…
Orskaf Donz: This time there was a pinch of pain as the peeler ran down an already skinned part of Kiri’s back. Orskaf toss it aside carelessly, the strand sticking to Kiri’s foot. “I know your a witch and I know you possess power, now it is your best interest to tell me what I want to know!” he yelled, coming around to her face again.
"Sir?" the mage said, poking his head into the room.
"Now!" Orskaf yelled at Kiri.
Toshioka Kiri: She winced slightly, but kept her pleasant smile on her face.
"Ask nicely," she spoke. "Really, you couldn’t have done this over tea and cakes or something? So tacky."
Orskaf Donz: Orskaf yelled with rage, his armored fists coming up and smacking Kiri across the face, each fist hitting twice. “Insolence!” he hollered.
"My men are at stake here!"
"Everything is at stake! And you will tell me what I need to know!"
”Sir!” he mage yelled, and then covered his mouth.
Orskaf turned on him, seeing red. He marched over, and then balked, seeing the ring in the man’s hand. “Are you insane!” he yelled, grabbing him by the throat and shoving him back into the side room, slamming the door behind him. “That’s her power source!” shoved the man’s chest harshly. “And how dare you yell at me like that!” he inhaled, collecting himself. “What…is it?” he asked.
"It’s not her power source sir," the mage said. "I apologize. But this gem…it holds her soul. Makes her more human, but if she wears it she’ll regain strengths."
Orskaf stared at it, and then snatched it from the man. “Stay put,” he said, walking back into the interrogation room, callously tossing the ring into the corner of the room, just enough distance for Kiri to feel some of her human feelings to return.
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri sharply inhaled as her back stung. She willed her senses to turn off again, numbing, going back to her soul.
I just need to get to my soul… get to it somehow… destroy everything…
She managed to numb her physical senses again, though it took some effort. She could see gem from where she was, a cloudy blue.
Not dark enough… but I…
She blinked at herself.
Since when was I looking forward to becoming a witch…?
Orskaf Donz: Orskaf saw the wince. “Girl…” he said. “Your becoming a monster aren’t you? One of those abominations…tell me how that works, the ring, your powers, everything,” he shrugged. “Or you can keep this up, and I finish up your back and move onto the next part.”
Toshioka Kiri: She released a strange, dark laugh.
"So you noticed… well then," she smiled. "So you should know that it doesn’t really matter what you do or threaten. Nothing does. Stay here with me, maybe you’ll get to watch the show. I’m sure that’s more to your liking."
Orskaf Donz: Gritting his teeth, Orskaf placed the peeler at the lower base of her stomach, dragging it up smoothly until it stopped at the tip of her chin. With a quick flick he pulled the razor away, the skin drooping, and then falling to the floor. “Not what I was looking for,” he said flatly, his patience clearly waning behind his eyes.
Toshioka Kiri: It hurt momentarily, but she shut the senses down once more. She would not let Donz have the satisfaction. All the better for when she turned.
This is just a flesh puppet. Remember that.
It was a bit harder to keep that at the forefront of her mind.
"How charming," she quipped, maintaining that smile on her face. "Not many other people look for it either. Well, I suppose tea and cakes is out of the question, isn’t it? An apple peeler’s doing a pretty good job of that."
Orskaf Donz: Orskaf threw the peeler down in a rage, grabbing her chin. “Tell meeeeeee!” he yelled, his eyes wide. “Or I’ll tie those strips around your head like a blindfold!”
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri glanced at her shoulders and the floor, trying to hold back a wince of revulsion. Then raised an eyebrow. “Eww,” she snorted. “That’s a little gross, don’t you think? Now that certainly isn’t something you’d show at parties.”
Don’t lose your temper. Keep it light. Let your time wind down.
No more grief seeds. No more extensions. Pay back this so called man of Odin tenfold.
Orskaf Donz: Orskaf shrugged, and bent down, beginning to collect them. “I’m not going to give you much more time. If you prolong this I’ll leave so little skin on your stomach that a wrong step will split you open.”
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri released a strange, dark chuckle, very unlike her. There was a mad grin on her face as she looked back up at Donz.
"This body is just a flesh puppet anyway," she murmured, her eyes half-lidded with a quiet dullness.
Orskaf Donz: Orskaf’s rage cooled slightly, and he took on a more serene and calm demeanor. “Oh?” he said, walking behind her, and then carefully tying the lines of skin around Kiri’s eyes. “You don’t seem like you could hurt anyone in this state, I could just take that soul gem away, or kill you right now…that would be the end of that.”
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri couldn’t hold back the revulsion now, and she nearly gagged as her vision was taken from her.
She managed to take a breath, wondering how her corrupting soul had apparently missed making her apathetic to this.
"You could try," she choked out, thinking of blood. Witch, fire, souls, blood, how many would die, how much destruction… "I don’t think it’ll matter in the end."
Orskaf Donz: "You’re right," Orskaf said, resting a hand on her bleeding shoulders as he walked around her. "In this war the only thing that matter is trying to stay alive." he drew his sword. "How about I kill you now that you can’t see? …would that matter?"
Toshioka Kiri: The statement amused her for some reason. She laughed again, unsure why he hadn’t caught her earlier words.
"I thought I told you that it didn’t matter," she smiled. "I’m already dead. I have been for quite some time."
Orskaf Donz: Orskaf lowered his sword, and then reached forward, ripping away the flesh that blocked her vision, staring into her eyes and making her look at him. “And then what? What happens when you cease to talk? When there not even a drop of life left in you to animate your movements?”
Toshioka Kiri: She gazed back at him, unfeeling. Unflinching.
That maddening darkness within her was bubbling now, wanting to rise.
Destroy. Smash. Crush. Until nothing is left.
"If I cease to talk, you don’t get your answer, do you?" she chuckled. "I have nothing to fear, in the end. I think you should be a little bit more worried, oh messenger of Odin."
Her eyes darted back at the gem in the corner. It was darkening faster.
Orskaf Donz: Orskaf dropped his sword and ran for the side room, ripping open the door. He pulled the mage over to him. “Get my men away from this place, I only want two healers to remain along with you and some other mages. Stabilize her immediately!” he turned, walking out briskly and scoping up the ring, gazing down at it. “I know what I have to do.”
Toshioka Kiri: That darkness was rising stronger. It had taken her so much willpower to hold it back, but now she was letting it come, embracing it. How thoughtless of this man. How futile it all was. He spoke for Odin? She would destroy it all. Odin’s realm, the mortals of the land, they would all be mashed into dust. The Rebellion, the land around it, the Wilder West… gone to nothingness.
She had once been so afraid of witches, or destruction… but that was her.
Cannot defeat it… become it.
She could barely hear anything around her. Her soul was drowning, but the power rose, the despair of everyone she had ever healed, from present and future.
Destroy, destroy everything - sadness, hate, anger, despair, war… destroy it all, until nothing is left.
Her eyes opened, and she began to laugh uncontrollably.
Here I come, oblivion.