Immediately after "Shifting Shells"
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Nalaagura Ep'ha: It took a few minutes to quickly locate the rabbit-kind’s mind, and even then she stayed back for a minute, watching and listening to her thoughts. Their last encounter had not gone well, but she had no other way to remove her body from the cell without badly damaging herself.
So she hovered, and waited, her body standing stone-still in the cell below.
Akkey Black: If she still had her ears they would have twitched under her hair. Akkey didn’t understand why, but she immediately thought of the body hidden below the dungeon. She’d been periodically checking it for the past week, wondering exactly why she brought it there.
Maybe I’ll… look at it again. She quietly slipped away from the group resting outside, and sneaked down to the underground cells.
Nalaagura Ep'ha: Yes, yes, perfect…
She silently followed Akkey down through the dark levels of cells, hovering just behind her shoulder, still hesitant to make a move. Perhaps it’d be better to wait until she sees that the puppeteer has come home…
Akkey Black: She reached the familiar room, the door barely hanging onto its rusted hinges. It groaned painfully when she pulled it open, and was met with the sight of the body standing by itself in the middle of the cell.
She slammed the door shut, grunting at the effort. She wanted to scream, but it would bring the others there.
Nalaagura Ep'ha: There was a brief pause, and then the Warden’s voice echoed with annoyance. It’s rude to shut doors on others. Her astral form materialized next to Akkey, crossing her arms stiffly, her blank face staring down at the half-breed. Would you kindly let me out, please? The door shivered in place, as though someone were trying to open it from inside.
Akkey Black: She gawked at the figure beside her for a while, recognizing the voice in her head, “What…” She heaved and opened the door again a little, peeking inside to look at the body again. She didn’t imagine it. It was standing. She pulled a little more, her eyes wide like a child, “Greg… he’s back?”
Nalaagura Ep'ha: Yes. Astute powers of observation, she said irritably. The body came forward again and started pushing on the door, but the Warden maintained her projection. It seemed as though there were two of her surrounding and towering over Akkey. Now let me out.
Akkey Black: “Still have that condescending tongue, I see,” she shot back, equally as irritated. She swung the door fully, stepping back defensively, “When did you get back? Is Greg alright?”
Nalaagura Ep'ha: We arrived yesterday. Her insubstantial body circled her physical one, inspecting it for damage. It was really just a show. She enjoyed trying to unnerve the girl. Both her heads turned to look at Akkey with something close to affront. Yes, he’s all right, do you not trust my ability to keep him safe?
Akkey Black: “No… maybe. I don’t know,” she tried to glare but in the process tripped on a rock. She quickly regained her balance, “He does though… and Grey… and Warren…” She peered at the Warden, recalling past conversations. Benefit of the doubt… regret past choices… change…
Nalaagura Ep'ha: Nalaagura’s face remained expressionless, but she felt a flicker of surprise at skimming across Akkey’s thoughts. What’s this? Such a surprising lack of hostility. I almost miss the scalding backtalk. Have you…changed your mind, perhaps?
Akkey Black: She laughed dryly, “No, I still don’t like you.” Akkey sombered almost immediately, regarding the Warden with honest curiousity, “How did you manage convince Grey and the others that you are now… different?”
Nalaagura Ep'ha: Her mocking tone lessened and became thoughtful. Stepping back inside of her body, she hugged herself, clasping both elbows and looking at the ground. I do not think it was so much that I convinced them…but that they convinced me.
Akkey Black: Akkey could feel her balled up fists behind her relaxing ever so slightly. Always their encounters had been filled with hate, bloodlust, anger… this was a sight. She remained quiet, hoping that she would continue.