Caligo: Days to Come

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Caligo: Days to Come

Post by Fate Flyer on Thu May 26, 2011 1:18 am


Nestled safely in the center of the colossal eye of the storm, with perpetual swirling tropical cyclones and a ring of towering thunderstorms encompassing it in a natural barricade, the island was anything but ordinary. Everything from the eternal fog cover that blanketed the whole of the island, to the blue ocean with its mysterious marine life that pockmarked sections, submerging portions of land, to the near-sentient creatures that inhabited it, or to the indigenous peoples with their innovative technology that called the island home, Caligo was a secret legend, hidden from the world and cut off from it.

Sitting along the northern shore on one of the few sandy beaches, rather than the carved stone reefs, and not far from where the great capital city of Phasmoenia resided high on a cliff, was what appeared to be a young woman. The thick fog cover that enveloped the island, helping to shroud it in its anonymity, thinned slightly at the coast to provide a small view into the sunset-pink skies above, a small sliver of orange light radiating down through the cloud cover, illuminating the girl’s red locks.

Though she appeared relatively normal by everyday standards upon observation, this porcelain-skinned, redheaded twenty-something-looking woman was anything but, just another testament to the island’s mysteries. It wasn’t the unsual, foreign-looking clothes she wore, the deep blues and flashy oranges made from some kind of matte synthetic material, standing out in stark contrast with the white sand, nor was it the collection of colorful feathers that decorated her hair, which was currently styled in an updo. It was not the way her eyes seemed to hold some sort of ancient wisdom behind them, glossy with an intellect gained from experience, yet bright and young all the same. It wasn’t even the peculiar raven-like bird that paced around nearby who appeared to be holding some sort of conversation with her that made this girl so strange. It was the fact that, despite being just as youthful in every way as any other person that looked to be her age, she was, in fact, a great, great, great grandmother, one of many the island camouflaged as a buoyant, full-of-life adult.

Kyte Vesper kicked off her leather sandals and dug her feet into the barely-warm sand, her intelligent emerald eyes on the skies, following the flight paths of the seagulls, but her mind on the discussion taking place between her and her Shade, the raven-like Inklaw strutting around before her. They seemed to be casually chatting about a vague topic, though intermittently straying to other subjects as their minds wandered. A warm breeze blew by, ruffling the feathers of the black bird. He appeared not to have noticed as he hopped around from rock to rock absentmindedly, speaking in a relaxed yet self-assured voice, as if it were a common occurrence for an animal to be conversing with a person.

Unlike his human companion, the Inklaw’s outward appearance would be quite startling to an outsider. Though entirely black like an ordinary raven, his beak was a shiny metallic silver, and his eyes, which glowed captivatingly and eerily, seeming to radiant life all their own, were completely white. Because they were pupiless, it made it rather difficult to tell where his gaze was focused, but Kyte seemed to have no problem, able to tell when he was looking directly at her to address her.

Though scarcely detectable from their careful tones, the nature of the conversation, recognizable by the sober look spreading across Kyte’s face, changed immediately at the mention of war. Their society was not only used to, but expected to live forever, as their lives were tied to their immortal Shade soul-clone counterparts. However, the war that took place exactly ten years ago between the islanders and Blue Trinity, an organization from the outside world which invaded in hopes of overtaking them, but by no means successful, resulted in hundreds of deaths, on both sides, which was a great blow to the Caligoan people. Though they had been victorious in defending their land, despite not having much in the way of battle experience and even less often having had to rely on weapons, the triumph felt less like a victory to them. It left many of people confused, scared, and unsure of what was to come next. But they were nothing if not resilient, and they had technology superior to anything else on the planet, thanks fully to their primordial gods. Because they had succeeded in driving back the invading forces, every year since, they celebrated with a festival, not only to honor all those that gave their lives for Caligo, but as a reminder to the nature of the outsiders and to never let one’s guard down.

“It almost makes one suspicious of drifters,” the Inklaw said thoughtfully, his voice low over the crashing of the waves and the squawking of the gulls above.

Drifters, as they were referred to by the Caligoans, were those who found the island completely by mistake and who managed to make it safely to the shores to start new lives alongside the natives, not capable of leaving because of the natural hazards. It was rare for outsiders to ever make it through alive, past the tempests, hurricanes, rogue waves, and sharp reefs guarding the island, and modern men found their equipment failed whenever approaching Caligo. Most commonly, drifters were unfortunate shipwrecked crew members, crashed commercial airplane passengers, and occasionally the new-aged sea pirate attempting to intercept the shipping lanes between Europe and the Americas who found himself overtaken by the Bermuda Triangle’s phenomena.

“Why do you say that, Voltaire?” asked Kyte, a shadow falling over her face as a cloud rolled in, concealing the small ray of sunlight and enveloping them once again in the usual darkness that the local plant life had evolved to thrive in.

“Well,” started the Inklaw, Voltaire, fixing his supernatural gaze on her, “you can’t be implying I’m the only one that’s been thinking it. That is, I assume, why so many more people lately are converting to the beliefs that Caligoans should not coexist with the outsiders.” Kyte returned his glare, urging him to get to the point. “What I mean to say is,” he concluded in his baritone voice, “any one of them that has washed up on our island in the last ten to twenty years could be an undercover Blue Trinity agent.”

Kyte opened her mouth, eyes narrowed now as if to disagree, but at that moment, the familiar whooshing sound of an approaching hovercraft, suspended by magnetic technology called repelift, which counter-balanced it against the natural magnetic field of the Earth to create ultra-fast, friction-free low-surface flight, met their ears. Though technically unable to distinguish the sound of one hovercraft or skimmer from another, the redhead was confident of whom it was, instantly allowing her face to melt into an expression of mild delight. She was sure the pilot would know she heard him coming, especially since her ears, like any Caligoan’s, were trained to the sounds of their technology after having lived for so many millennia, but she feigned ignorance nonetheless, putting extra effort into staring up at the white seagulls despite Voltaire having flown onto her shoulder, as he commonly did when they were out alone together to alert her of company.

The four-passenger surface skimmer came to an abrupt halt just past where the fog cover dissipated onto the beach. Caligoans had any number of instruments and devices to help them see through the thick sometimes otherwise impossible-to-navigate layer of fog (one of which being the computer-enhanced goggles the man just pulled down to hang around his neck, which he used to pilot through the island’s forests), and had he parked it inside the veil of mist, he would have been able to locate the hovercraft just as easily, but there was a wide enough berth for him along the sand to set down. The glass canopy hatch slid open, impressively silent in its technology, and he jumped down, landing softly with practiced stealth. Even powered down, the land vehicle hovered a meter or so off the ground, stirring up grains of sand, the magnets installed on the underside of the hull naturally pushing off the Earth’s own magnetic field.

The man was closely followed by a black shadow of a dog who emerged from within, roughly the size of a Labrador, though his appearance was somewhere between a wolf and a jackal, with two slightly curved silver horns protruding from his head and pointing behind him. The creature’s eyes burned a cool shade of cerulean, piercing through the fading light, but his demeanor was anything but menacing, very much reflective of the man himself.

Though he wore nearly all black – a dark gray and black uniform shirt with an insignia on the breast pocket reading CSF, black trousers, dark knee-high boots, and a black utility belt – the man’s expression was so warm, it could light up even the darkest of fog-cloaked regions on Caligo. His hair was fairly long and straight, reaching just below his eyebrows and styled in a purposefully disheveled manner that was currently fashionable and suited someone in their mid to late twenties, though he himself was well over six hundred years old. His kind chocolate brown eyes, which were currently fixated on the back of Kyte’s fiery red head as she had her back turned to him, held a patience and understanding behind them that seemed earned with age.

Like a teenage adolescent, he snuck up behind her slowly, grinning from ear to ear as her Shade, now perched atop a branch of some floating driftwood lying on the beach, watched indifferently, while his began playfully rolling around in the sand. Reaching around her to place his hands over her eyes, saying softly, “I thought I’d find you here,” he knew by the way she giggled and didn’t flinch or gasp in surprise that she was well aware he had been there the whole time, but delighted in still playing along anyway. The man then plopped down behind her, sitting his legs next to hers, and embraced her in a long hug from behind. Kyte didn’t say anything for a few moments, just allowed herself to take in his presence, his scent, his warmth and love.

“Valin,” she finally said, content to speak his name again. “I’m so glad you were able to get off for the evening. I was beginning to worry I’d be alone all…” Her voice trailed off instantly as she peered down at his arms, noticing the dark sleeves and realizing they belonged to the Caligo Security Force uniform. “Don’t tell me…”

“Shh,” he answered, cooing her to composure without so much as a word. “I’ll still technically be on duty, but my job is only to provide security when needed. I’ll just be overseeing the event. I don’t even have to do anything unless I’m required. We’ll still get to enjoy it together,” he promised.

It was at this point that Kyte turned around to face her husband for the first time, their eyes meeting and blazing with an old and undying sort of fire that threatened to lock their gazes for eternity. She didn’t need to say anything, as her smile spoke for her. Embracing him in a short but passionate kiss, Kyte was reminded of how much he meant to her, even after so many years together. Ever since Blue Trinity’s invasion, the CSF officers were needed more than ever, and their jobs were more demanding than they had ever been before, having to step up security, patrolling the island, investigating anything suspicious, being deployed on counter-terrorism and intelligence operations, providing diplomatic protection, and also being the island’s main military defense. It was a lot to take on, but Kyte knew if anyone was up to the job requirements, it was Valin Vesper, and though it meant long hours and sometimes days away from home, it was important work that he took pride in.

“And besides…” This time, it was the voice of Valin’s Shade, the Bownyte named Comet, that spoke up mockingly in his kind yet lighthearted voice, eyeing the two of them as he shook himself off, sand still clinging to his dark fur. “If Valin does let you down again, I’m sure Faust will be around to keep you company.”




Faust!

Though he was not a leader of any of the gangs, squads, or associations around the island now becoming jointly known as Soulless and Shadeless, or S&S, mainly because he himself still had his Shade, Faust Altus did play an influential part. He was acting as a mole, appearing in public to be a supporter to the Caligoan government known as the Common Nation and sympathetic to its cause, acting as a military, legal, and national security advisor to the chief commander, the acting leader of Caligo, in order to acquire insider information on the important aspects and activities of both the Caligoan diplomats, government representatives, and officials and within the administration itself, so as to better infiltrate them when the time presented itself and was right.

Currently, Faust’s timing wasn’t right.

“You were supposed to meet me two hours ago. What kept you?” The question was evidently rhetorical, as the man continued without a beat. “You specifically said you could guarantee me a speech at the Outsiders’ War Reunion Festival. “Well, that is tonight, and still I’ve heard no word from the capital. What good are you?” The voice that called to him in the murkiness and gloom of the ancient temple-like structure that served as one of their bases of operations was all too unhappy, an icy and formidable undertone clearly detectable.

“Forgive me. I was held up with some other business,” he answered the man, one of the mob-like bosses that stood rigidly in front of a stone structure that looked to have served as a table long ago.

“You mean spying on your filthy obsession?” he spat.

Faust, a man appearing as if he could have served in the military, with square shoulders, perfect posture, his jaw set, and a muscular build, decided not to answer. Instead, he went on to address the issue at hand, unnervingly calm and collected. “I reluctantly am forced to inform you that the chief commander refuses to acknowledge your request and asks that you seek an audience without delay to discuss the terms of S&S’s surrender and to therefore allow a trial to be held for all participating parties of the criminal-minded syndicate. There will be CSF guards and sentries on duty tonight at the festival, mainly on lookout for disturbances, as you -- that is to say, Soulless and Shadeless -- have been prohibited from attending. This is all the information I have to present. Please forgive me, as it appears my mission has been a failure.”

Faust’s voice was crisp and clear, fearless and confident to the point of cockiness, though at the same time professional and respectful. Perhaps it was his strong personality and poise that psychologically did not trigger his superior to lash out against him. Like a wild cat chasing prey, he only pursued his victims when they ran. If they faced the cat head-on, the sport was all but lost.

“Very well,” was all the man said after a moment, turning his back to Faust, both fuming and contemplative.

Taking that as the closest thing he’d get to a dismissal, Faust needed no further queues to depart, and turned on his heel, his black-furred feline Grimalkin in tow. The creature, whose sparkling silver saberteeth reflected the artificial lights that illuminated the pathway for them menacingly, waited until they were out of earshot to speak. When he did, his voice was shockingly deep, but like a gruff whisper. Though he did have the ability, like all Shades, to communicate with his human telepathically, he was too furious to not say what he was thinking aloud.

“Say the word, and that man's neck will be broken in my jaws before he even has time react.”

“Hush, Bane,” ordered Faust, though he too couldn’t conceal his own resentment for the S&S leader. Despite favoring the gangs that kept cropping up more and more since the end of the war, which were composed entirely of Caligoans who lost their Shades and thus were doomed to mortal lives, aging like an ordinary person more and more with each passing year, Faust couldn’t help but feel he was better suited for a leadership position than some of their commanders. Nevertheless, his Shade was still very much alive and shadowed him as it had since the day he had been born, and he was not about ready to give him and his own immortality up merely to associate himself wholly with the syndicate.

Though he had every right to be at the celebration that night, given that the enemy mistook him for one of their own, Faust was a man that preferred isolation and covertness over grand entrances, in hopes to be the unseen eyes and ears to all that took place. “Now, let us make our way over to the festival grounds. Time for us to be stealthy.”

With that, the oversized cat shrunk to the size of an average house cat and became incorporeal.


Last edited by Fayt Fyre on Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:32 pm; edited 11 times in total

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Re: Caligo: Days to Come

Post by Gadreille on Mon May 30, 2011 3:14 pm

Meaning.

Brenna sat at her desk, staring at the word that had been carved into the wall of her office, almost one hundred years ago. She had done it. Taken the knife, holding it to her wrist, readly to let go of the world...yet knowing full well that she would never actually do it, for she had responsibilities that could not be left behind. With an aire of frustration, she spun the knife away from herself and plunged it into the wall, carving the word deep into the stone, until the knife was naught but a dull piece of metal. And there it had remained, even after Gabriel had saved her from her turmoil; after the point in time when she knew he was dead, and not just lost; and even after she had all but forgotten his face, or the sound of his voice. His disappearance had no meaning. No answer. No definition. And certainly no reason. So now, Brenna strove to find meaning in anything and everything else.

There was movement out of the corner of her eye, and she saw Gabriel ruffling his feathers a bit, his yellow eye glancing the same direction as she. He knew, always knew, what she was thinking. Looking at the word, she felt no sadness, only wonder. It was hardly even a memory any more, and yet, like the words in the stone it was forever bound to imprint something onto her soul. Gabriel's raven shape remained parked on his personal perch, his silver talons gripping it lazily. If he were to take his larger form, he would knock the desk over to make room.

Her husband's disappearance and then, death, was but one of many pieces of sadness that had been inflicted upon her. And yet, she lived happily and healthy, though not without the help of Gabriel, her shade. He, an inklaw with an aura of balance, had the power to control emotion with but a touch of his feather or talon. Without he, she might have never made it through the dark times. But it was not only he that kept her living.

Her brothers were alive, well, and strong. And, a piece that her husband had left behind...her daughter, too young at his disappearance to really remember him, she hardly sheds a tear at the mention of her father. He was not missing, not in her eyes. He just wasn't. Lyra could never understand how badly her mother had been hurt, how much of her heart had been lost when her father disappeared.

Brenna shivered, and stood. The office was cold, the stone absorbing what little heat was offered, which was not much. She cleaned the papers off her desk. She would have to finish reading them another time, for she had somewhere she had to be. The halls outside her office echoed in a strange silence. The University of Phasmoenia was never so quiet, and it was eerie and uncomfortable, leaving one with a tingle in their spine. She could sit in the cold silence no longer.

She was a professor of History and Philosophy, the two being tied together in intricate controversy on this mysterious island she called home. She also worked on archaeological investigations when she could, to try and further the history of her people, and understand the philisophical implications of their creation. These questions were all unanswered, but there were beliefs of every flavour, and she supported them all. From Basic Logic and Reasoning, to Implications of Technology on Philisophical Reasoning, to History of Caligo, she incorporated as much information as she could so that she may continually challenge her students, and be challenged by them.

Normally, she enjoyed reading their papers and listening to discussions for hours upon hours, cooped up in her cold, quiet office, surrounded by the ancient beauty of the University's main building. It was old, maybe one of the oldest buildings on the Island, and its original construction was unknown to anyone living. Who had built it? What was its original purpose? More unanswered questions. Many believed it was, at one point, a holy site; but there was no true evidence for this. Brenna noticed that many a time that something was found that lacked meaning, the finder would label it "spiritual, ceremonial, or religious in nature". After all, what is holy but an easy answer to the unknown?

The emptiness that the day brought reminded her that she herself had somewhere else to be.

"Gabriel," she whispered, "I suppose we should be going now."

He gave a slight nod. "You know Lyra. Pan will be in a frenzy if we don't show up soon."

Brenna smiled. "There could be a thousand people at her heels, but if the one that promised is the one missing, she will notice, and remember."

Gabriel chuckled, an internal reverberation she felt rather han heard. His silver beak made no movement, though the bends of his wings shook a bit. Telepathic conversation between he and she was another property of the shade.

Lyra was one of the many catering companies offering food to sell at the great festival, and it already gathering. She was already late, and there was no time to lose. Lyra had a temper on her that Brenna supposed she had gained from herself, though Brenna had lost that temper through the ages of her life. Could she really have ever been that fiery? She couldn't remember. For how long she lived, the memories faded and melded together until she wondered what was truth and what was fabricated in her mind. A troublesome issue, and one she feared greatly. Yet, it was always the dark things that she would never forget. Either way, Lyra did not suffer from that problem, and it would take a week for Lyra to forgive her if she did not make it on time for the festivities to begin.

Brenna didn't feel much like celebrating. Blue Trinity was just another unanswered question, in her eyes, and there was hardly time to understand the consequences of their arrival before they were gone again. One thing Brenna knew was that, no matter how badly they had failed, they had left an imprint on the people of Caligo, a sort of unrest that had not eased, even with ten years of celebration. Brenna had a feeling this chapter of her life was only the beginning, rather than an end, but she couldn't help but wonder if it would be her end, when it was all over. She had lived long enough, and Lyra was aged enough where she would not need her mother anymore. If there was not much left to live for, perhaps in time, she would be granted something to die for.

Brenna's footsteps echoed in the silent cooridors as she led herself through the twisted hallways and out of the main building. She took her time, enjoying the breeze against her skin and allowing Gabriel to glide upon it with a lazy wobble to his wingspan. She had not taken her hoverbike today, knowing that there would hardly be a place to land it close enough to bother. With a thought, Gabriel suddenly dived and landed, his body hitting the ground with a suprising amount of force. It seemed surprising because, the small figure that was diving had landed as a large one, a massive Inklaw. He looked exactly the same but on a larger scale. She climbed onto his back, clipping a rein around his neck so she had something to hold onto beside his feather. For the rest of her, she just gripped his sides with her legs, and as long as he didn't do anything fancy in the skies, she would be fine. His wings spread slowly, he checking his balance with her added weight upon his back. With a couple of steps and a push, they were off of the ground and soaring through the mist, toward where the celebration was to be held.

Gabriel circled above the location, using his keen eyesight to look for where her daughter might be. However, so many people had already gathered that it was impossible to decipher from a bird's eye view. Reluctantly, they landed on the outskirts of the area, and, watching the tents rise all around them, set out on foot to find Lyra. Hopefully she would also find an urge for celebration before the festival actually begun.


Last edited by Ryona Noel on Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Caligo: Days to Come

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:29 pm

She crouched hidden in shadows so deep not even her nearly white hair could be seen. Her grey-blue eyes were equally concealed, but they watched the goings-on below her. There were men in uniforms marching along the ground, guns resting against their shoulders. Her heart beat rapidly beneath her breast, but she seemed outwardly calm despite what she knew she must do.

As quietly as a shade stalking her prey, she leaped from her perch, rolling into her landing both to muffle the sound and to keep herself from injury. No one noticed, for she’d taken the proper precautions. She stealthily moved from hiding place to hiding place – carrying a metal cylinder – until she reached another room, one that contained three men and a woman. Only two of them were armed, and they were right next to one another.

A small, dark form materialized beside her. It had been with her all along, simply incorporeal. Without speaking a word, they rushed into the room. The small form pounced upon one of the gun-men, landing upon him as a much larger creature. Meanwhile, the woman raised her arm, no longer bearing a simple cylinder but a much longer baton. She touched it to the other man’s throat, hardly pausing to watch him freeze with shock only to fall to the floor where he began to convulse spastically. The body of the man who was attacked by the shadow already lay bleeding to death on the floor.

She moved to the next man who hadn’t been armed, but he tried to run. The young woman easily caught him, but he grabbed her wrist to try to shake the baton from her hand before it could touch him. The dark creature that resembled a predatory feline pounced on him from behind, causing the man to fall forward into the baton where it touched him right at his chest. He didn’t even spasm as he fell, for the touch had caused his heart to stop.

The creature moved to a control panel to touch it, its already glowing blue-green eyes flashing brighter as its paws and tail moved over the machine. The femme turned toward the only woman who had been in the room. The bystander seemed paralyzed with fear as she looked upon a face that could have been her own, a face that, before her very eyes seemed to mutate into something hideous and demented looking…


Kaliska Makya bolted awake in bed to the sound of her alarm clock screetching. Cold sweat beaded on her skin, but already the nightmare of last night was fading. Her heartbeat began to slow as she calmed and turned off the alarm. Despite being unable to recall her dream, she was left with the sensation of cold, unfeeling eyes on her, ready to destroy her.


Kaliska stretched her lean muscles for a few moments while Shyam, her shade companion, did the same for his. “Shouldn’t we just take the bike or even the hoverboard?” Shyam asked in that silky smooth, bass voice of his. She could practically feel the vibrations of his voice wash over her, always comforting.

“I am taking the hoverboard.” She replied with a slight mocking tone to her voice.

The glow of his blue-green eyes moved toward her though it would have been difficult for anyone else to know the direction in which he gazed. He shook his black, feline head, the metallic silver of his saber teeth glinting. “You know what I mean. You don’t want to be late, do you?”

“You worry too much. When have I ever been late,” she began, and she could see Shyam’s maws parting to speak, “to something I thought was important?” She added that quickly to stop him from letting her know all of the times she was late. His jaws closed and he shook his head again.

The fair haired woman finished her stretches, and she moved with Shyam into the next room where her favorite appliances rested. Shyam grabbed a pair of black cuffs in his mouth and brought them to her. “Thank you.” She said with a smile. Her mirth quickly faded, her lips turning to a frown of disgust, for she realized that in the short time the bracelets had been in her shade companion’s mouth, he’d managed to saturate them in saliva.

“Oh… Shyam! Why!” He only rasped an amused chuckle of sorts, his muscular body trembling with mirth beneath his shiny black coat of fur. She wiped her shade companion’s spit on her jeans and attached the crash bracelets to her wrists.

After opening the slot on the right bracelet, she pulled a small belly sensor from it before attaching it to her naval. They came in all sorts of shaped and sizes, and they could even be worn as belly button jewelry, but Kaliska had never had a desire to have anything other than her ear lobes pierced, so this one was simply a clip-on. It did, however, resemble a piece of jewelry; she didn’t want to have to go without a bit of style, after all.

With a twist of her left bracelet, two faint lights glowed at each wrist, and soon after that, a metallic black board hovered into the room to halt just in front of Kaliska. With another twist of her left crash bracelet, the blue-green lights beneath the hoverboard flashed to be completely green which indicated the autopilot was set. Even though she wouldn’t be riding the board, it would follow behind her. If she fell while making jumps, the bracelets would keep her elevated at first to ensure she didn’t hurt herself.
Kaliska slipped her Jaunt Pack over her torso, and she and Shyam left the apartment, heading toward the rooftop of the building.


Between Domus Apartments and the festival grounds, anyone who happened to look up at the right moment would see a pale figure leaping between buildings with a large, dark shape beside her and a hoverboard trailing behind them.


Kaliska leapt from one building to the next, rolling as soon as her feet hit the surface until she was back on her feet. Without missing a beat, she kept running only to stop at the edge of the roof. There wasn’t another building, only trees and foliage, but the nearest tree was too far away, even for her. I told you so… Shyam gloated in her mind. Her breathing had grown heavy, but as she stood still, it quickly slowed, for she was quite fit.

“I’ll make you take the long way down if you don’t watch yourself.” Kaliska threatened while she twisted her left bracelet. The board’s lights resumed their normal blue-green colour that always reminded the Caligoan of her shade companion’s eyes though not quite as beautiful. The board moved to hover near her knees and she jumped onto it, adjusting her weight as the board shifted slightly beneath her. Seconds later, a small feline leapt onto her board as well, his blue-green eyes glowing patiently at her. Shyam was always so adorable in his critter form, and he knew it. “Well, I guess if you must.” She twisted her pack to her front and grabbed his crash harness from it where it always stayed unless he was wearing it. She slipped it around his torso, fastening it securely around him.

Enam Vakasa, one of Kaliska’s good friends, had been banking on these things since he’d made the first one ever for her. He’d been able to patent Shade Crash Harnesses, so no one had been able to steal his invention before he could put it onto the market himself. The idea for them had initially been Kaliska’s, but Enam was the technologically inclined one of the two of them, and he had made her idea a reality. Every time he made an upgrade, she got it for free for “being his muse” as he liked to say.

With a slight shift of her weight, the board moved forward, dipping down as she flew toward the tent where she had to prepare. The festival grounds were steadily becoming more populated as more and more tenders and stalls were set into place. The tent where she traveled was near the center, and it was where all dancers prepared themselves and potentially their shades for the dances that would serve as entertainment through the day. Kaliska and Shyam were a part of the first dance, so they had to be at the festival early to prepare. After that first dance, she was off the hook for the rest of the time, so she could join the contests, socialize, and just have a good time in general.

This was going to be a good night.


Last edited by Kathryn Lacey on Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:06 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Caligo: Days to Come

Post by Fate Flyer on Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:58 am

After what seemed like endless searching amongst other vehicles of every sort, Valin Vesper found an open spot and stationed the four-person surface skimmer in the empty space on the main landing pad, which stretched the entire eastern perimeter of the Phasmoenia City Park. Comet, his Bownyte Shade, let out a relieved and now very anxious bark as he jumped out of the hovercraft even before the overhead glass canopy fully retracted. Following after him was Kyte’s Shade, Voltaire, who dove out and after the excited canine, swooping in low enough to grab some guard hairs on the top of Comet’s head before propelling himself upwards with a practiced shift in his weight, clearing well out of the way in time for Comet to playfully snap up at the spot where the Inklaw had been moments ago.

Being that the two Caligoans had both lived for a few millennia on the island, Kyte and Valin immediately recognized a few familiar faces as they crossed into the grassy plains toward where the tents, stages, booths, and activities were already awaiting them. Some of which were family, as families on the island grew to be quite big, considering death was a rare occurrence, while others were coworkers, neighbors, or employees at favorite shops and stores. Most were faces that were vaguely recognizable, as if they had seen them before in occasional passing.

The crowd was one of the biggest Kyte could ever recall seeing, and it no doubt had to do with the nature of the celebration, which was truly a historical event that would be remembered for many more years to come. People from all over Caligo, not just the capital city, had made their way out, and it looked as if everyone was already enjoying themselves, mingling, dancing, feasting, and enjoying the entertainment the night had to offer. It was a beautiful sight, and one to make even the heaviest of hearts still burdened by the losses and scars of the recent war forget their troubles for at least one night.

Or, if not, that’s what the tents filled with alcohol were for.

Having a festival at night was, other than personal energy levels of the attendants, not all that different than holding it in the middle of the day, for the skies and land around them were just as shrouded in clouds and fog as they were at any other point in the day. Of course, to any native Caligoan, the time of day was still somewhat detectable by the naked eye. The sky was perhaps a little dimmer, a little blacker in places rather than gray. Nevertheless, the artificial glow lights that decorated almost every inch of Caligo helped brighten everything perfectly, some in the form of panels placed in strategic areas along the ground, others hanging from poles in a decorative style, while others still, which resembled balloons, floated around on tiny repelifts, seemingly of their own accord, though gliding into view the moment it seemed someone needed some more illumination, as if able to read minds. The lights themselves helped to define Caligo in a way, becoming a memorable feature of the island to offlanders and drifters, as they were unique and unlike any other lights in the rest of the world, being both that they were a different form of technology and that they rarely resembled the style and design of lights commonly seen in other parts of the world.

Sitting on a blanket in the grass beneath a tall lamp that cast a warm glow around her and all those nearby, sat a girl – or a woman rather – with cute, short blonde hair and big, round blue eyes. She was hugging her knees, her gaze fixed distractedly on the flames of the small fire pit that sat a few meters away. A jet black Inklaw was perched comfortably on her shoulder, managing to look pleasant despite his glowing green eyes.

Though the woman looked to be in her twenties, most of the people around her made up her grandchildren and great grandchildren. A man off to her side with long black hair, which was being held neatly back in a short ponytail, was having what sounded to be a business-related conversation with another man near him who dressed in the same dark uniform as the man with the ponytail. The blonde woman was absentmindedly rocking back and forth, still clutching her knees, and bumping into the man with longer hair, who also happened to be her husband. He pretended not to notice, but a smile threatened to upturn his lips as he went on talking with his coworker pilotely.

Upon meeting Kyte’s eyes as she and Valin approached, the blonde woman, whose name was Sophia Evers, stood up enthusiastically, a smile from ear to ear spreading across her delicate face. She looked like a woman unburdened by any of the stresses in life, her eyebrows raised in constant wonder and fascination. It was as if she had not been witness to the devastation Blue Trinity and the war had caused or had not even lived for hundreds of years, still possessing the naivety and nonjudgmental openmindedness of a youth.

It was common knowledge that, since Caligoans lived for so long, they all had a chance to develop a jaded view in a lot of ways about life, having experienced both its ups and downs, the bad with the good. Gaining knowledge and wisdom as they aged, the people were often a testimony to the saying that the more you know, the less happy you are. After so many years, most people lost their happy-go-lucky, carefree attitudes they might have once had in their younger years. Not Sophia though. She was a light shining brightly in the murky gloom of the misty island. Kyte wasn’t a true pessimist by any means, and it was in full thanks to her island’s gift of immortality that she did not possess many visible stress lines on her young-looking face, but she was aware that she had, somewhere along the line, lost a bit of her lightheartedness in exchange for intellect. Even so, the two Inklaw-sporting women who had remained friends since childhood were, to this day, inseparable.

They embraced in a brief hug and exchanged pleasantries between them and their husbands. Valin went to join Sophia’s husband, Gavin, the man with the ponytail, and the third man that Gavin had been conversing with, both of whom also happened to be CSF officers. The wives stood gossiping for a moment, and then turned to explore the sights and entertainment of the festival, leaving the men to chat about work and their theories on how to best solve the Soulless and Shadeless syndicate problem (Valin’s idea being to isolate the major leaders and conspirers, thus hoping to bring the rest of the organization to its knees).

As they set off to explore all the tents and pavilions set up for the event, Kyte thought of her two children, the twins Ava and Ayden, and wondered if she would be able to find them amongst all the other people there, her mind flickering to her portable communicator, or PortComm, if she wasn’t able to find them after awhile.




“The turnout is fantastic. Wouldn’t you agree, Faust?”

Faust Altus stood to the right of the Chief Commander of Caligo, Kian Vond, high on a platform designated for government officials and those close to their leader, an unreadable expression on his face as his eyes scanned the crowds of people moving about the festival grounds. “Yes, Commander. Most impressive. The people who lost their lives a decade ago surely are feeling true recognition for their services today. If it weren’t for them, we would no doubt be forced to endure whatever fate Blue Trinity had in mind of our island.”

“Ah, indeed.” Kian Vond looked pensive. For a man who only, to the naked eye, appeared to be in his early thirties, Vond possessed a wisdom and self-assuredness behind his demeanor, mannerisms, and confident voice that left few to question him.

Vond’s Shade, a Bownyte he named Howlgard, sat alert at his feet, eyes constantly on the people below, while Faust’s Grimalkin, Bane, paced back and forth uneasily behind them all, glaring at those who walked too close by. Occasionally, Faust would cast his Shade a quick yet stern look, one that might appear as nothing more than a casual glance to an onlooker, but one that Bane surely understood without Faust’s mental commentary which followed.

“Stop your pacing, Bane. You look too suspicious. I don’t want anyone, least of all Vond, to suspect anything about us.”

“I’m just keeping watch for Corbin. He should have been here by now,” Bane fibbed through telepathy, though he knew Faust would be able to detect it.

Corbin Cove was Faust’s understudy, his apprentice of sorts. He had born into a politically influential family, with his great grandmother serving as a senator and his father as the mayor of a smaller town in Caligo. Corbin became involved in legislature and domestic affairs from a young age, though he operated on a more classified level for a shadow government comprised of only a small amount of delegates and officials who acted above the true government and without their knowledge. Soon, Corbin became introduced to Faust Altus, who took Corbin under his wing and started grooming him to learn to operate inside both the shadow government and the true one and how to relay information back and forth appropriately, while supporting his own cause – that of Soulless and Shadeless.

“Look at me, lost in thought,” Vond said after a few moments went by during which neither of the men spoke (or at least not aloud). “I summoned you here to actually ask you a favor, Faust.” At this, both Faust and Bane snapped to attention, brimming with curiosity. “As one of my elite advisors, I wanted to ask you personally to be on the lookout tonight for anything suspicious. Now, I’m aware this probably sounds redundant, as I trust you to keep your eyes and ears open at all times anyway, but there is one person in particular that my informants have alerted me to that has been considered a person of interest. I’d like you to keep an eye out for them, and I have his description and whatever information we could acquire on him right here,” he explained, holding up a datapad for Faust to see.

The chief commander flipped through different digital screens until he came to a database on Caligo civilians, pulling up the name Corbin Cove, along with a photo, physical description, employer (Faust noticed he was listed as an employee at Raevyn’s Manufacturing, a warehouse in the industrial district that Corbin had been only working at part-time currently, devoting most of his time to politics these days), and other tidbits of information that would no doubt be relevant in a court of law if he were to be tried for whatever terrorist activities the chief commander was aware of him being involved in.

Faust’s expression betrayed nothing of his affiliation with Corbin. “I understand, Commander. I have seen his face now, so I will be on the lookout.”

“It is much appreciated. Now, go have a good time,” Vond insisted goodheartedly. “I want this to be an event everyone can enjoy and partake in. It is almost time for my opening speech and the ceremonial firework display to signal the official opening of the festival. I will be making my way to the center stage now. And Faust,” Vond said before turning to leave, “I appreciate all the help you’ve been. You’ve truly made me feel safer at night and better about the wellbeing of Caligoans altogether.”

A glimmer of something flashed across Faust’s face for a fraction of a second. Guilt, perhaps? The fact that he knew he was betraying the chief commander and relaying all the information he gathered to S&S, and hoped that Vond would not suspect his secret? Whatever it was, it was gone before Vond was able to detect it, and Faust simply put on a believable smile before taking off briskly, knowing the first thing he would have to do was find Corbin to warn him, Bane ambling after him.




It was hard for Kyte to keep the tears from her eyes these days each time she saw her son, Ayden. He had aged ten years since the war with Blue Trinity was won, but lost his Shade to a Blue Trinity agent a year before the war ended, and he looked it. Since his Inklaw Shade had been slain, Ayden was now a mortal man, aging at a normal rate and would eventually die of old age, if not from other human causes prior. He looked to be a little over forty now or so, which was quite odd for any Caligoan, and he stood out amongst the sea of young-looking people. Regardless, more and more Caligoans were getting familiar with the way people looked when they aged and got old because of the war and since coming into contact with Blue Trinity, most of whose operatives were well into their forties, fifties, and sixties.

“How are my kids?” Kyte asked the twins, fighting the lump which had formed in her throat upon setting eyes on her son. Sophia set a comforting hand on her friend’s arm, a gesture she hoped would both soothe Kyte but go unnoticed to Ayden, for she did not like reminding him constantly of his own mortality and how it was affecting those who loved him. “It feels like it’s been weeks since I’ve seen you!”

“It has been weeks, mom, “Ava informed her with an apologetic smile. “Work’s been busy for us both, I think. I’ve hardly any time for myself these days.”

Ayden nodded, and as he did, Kyte was almost sure she noticed some gray hairs. No, there were gray hairs for certain. She bit her lower lip, concerned. “I’m pretty exhausted, to tell you the truth. Between work and fixing up the house lately, I don’t get as much sleep as I used to. It’s nice being able to get away tonight and see so many people I normally don’t get to. Otherwise, life’s good.” Ayden noticed the troubled look on his mother’s face that she was desperately trying to conceal with a strained smile. “Don’t worry, mom. I’ll be finished with the house soon enough, and then I’ll be back on my usual schedule, eight hours of sleep and all.”

Kyte merely nodded, unable to speak, since she knew if she opened her mouth, she’d choke on her words. Sophia covered her by putting on her best signature grin and said, “Well then, I think we’re all in need of some drinks!” She directed them all toward the large tent nearby with long tables underneath. “The first round’s on me.”

“Oh, there’s going to be rounds?” Ava asked, cocking a brow.

“There’s always rounds,” Ayden replied with a smirk. He glanced over at his mother and gave her a good-natured slap on the back before jogging up to the bartender to order his favorite concoction.




Strolling through the thick forests of Caligo along a path that had been trampled through many a time to get to the capital city from the surrounding towns, Corbin Cove, unlike the majority of Caligoans, looked to be exactly like the age he actually was, which was twenty five. He was incredibly young, by Caligoan standards, and therefore wasn’t always taken seriously, especially when it came to political matters in which he most commonly was involved in since before he was even a teenager. He had somewhat spiky blonde hair and dazzling blue eyes. In truth, he looked rather nice and friendly upon observation, but the fierce and dangerous-looking Grimalkin that accompanied him gave away his true nature.

The young man had left a bit late for the Outsiders’ War Reunion Festival, which worried him, since he knew he would play a key part, both for the shadow government operating in secret behind the true government’s back and for Soulless and Shadeless, a crime organization that in recent years cropped up, which his mentor and advisor Faust had recruited him to. Corbin did not yet own a hovercraft or land speeder of his own, as he always had borrowed his wealthy family’s vehicles, but they were clear across the island from where he had been on an assignment, and so he was forced to walk.

The path he traveled was narrow and littered with obstacles, like branches, streams, or occasional fallen trees. If ever he needed assistance though, his Grimalkin Grayv obligingly allowed him to ride on his back, something he had started doing not long ago in order to travel quicker. The fog was thick this deep into the woods, and Corbin didn’t bring his sensory goggles. It was just as well though, since he wouldn’t want to have to carry them around with him while at the festival. Grayv seemed fine taking up the lead anyway, leaving the blonde man to follow in his wake a few paces behind.

Suddenly, without any warning, something caught their attention. Not far to their left and out a little ways, a strange noise sounded, almost like that of a PortComm going off when someone would call, but much more…foreign-sounding, like that of an extinct bird mixed with a synthetic, computerized tone.

Corbin reeled around, startled. “What was that?” he thought to his Shade.

Grayv turned around to face him, looking nonplused, but slightly irritated as well. “How should I know?” was his only response.

After a few moments, during which time the two stood frozen, the sound returned, louder this time, as if closer. Corbin nearly jumped out of his skin at the eeriness of it. Drawing his concealed blaster gun from inside his jacket, he began aiming it blindly in the direction of the noise. Grayv was looking nervous now, baring his long, sharp fangs and hissing, saliva glistening off his two saberteeth.

“I’m armed,” Corbin warned loudly, and suddenly everything went still, as if the forest was now holding its breath, waiting to see what would happen.

Seconds passed, and then something began running through the brush diagonally toward the direction of the city, rustling the leaves on plants and the tall grasses that it passed on its reckless sprint. Shaken and frightened, Corbin fired rapidly and nondiscriminately. Wild birds took off in opposite directions, and by the time he ceased fire, everything was still for good.

Far down in the direction they had been walking, friendly pops and booms began to ring out as a firework display began to paint the sky, visible as multicolored splotches at this distance through the mists. Knowing he would be very late now for sure, Corbin wasted no more time and hopped on the back of Grayv, who understood his partner’s intentions immediately without needing direction and took off down the path at a breakneck speed.




Emerging above the surface of the ocean in a small, one-manned vessel that was no bigger than a telephone booth, stood the most interesting-looking being. He resembled a human in most respects, but had very light blue hair, ghostly-white skin but with a blue discoloration in the middle of his front and back, almost like veins, and probably the most prominent feature, completely black eyes. Securing the submersible into place by means of a button on the outside hull, it floated in place just above the the water, as if compliant.

The being was clearly male and looked to be somewhere in his twenties to thirties, by human standards, but that was a terribly incorrect assumption. He gazed around for a moment and then took off in a seemingly random direction into the thick fog cover, unaided by any vision gear. After walking for a few hundred meters, he stopped to adjust something that had been clipped to his belt. The best that it could be described was that it resembled a modern-day cell phone, but with countless more functions and capabilities, in addition to a sleeker design. The device began scanning the localized area for adequate food sources for the humanoid, something he had to do every so often when his personal stores grew low.

After collecting a few native fruits and vegetables, placing them in a carrying compartment aboard the submersible and sticking a few smaller ones inside the pack on his back, he set out, this time in a more purposeful direction, using the little handheld device to navigate as one might as GPS. Though his species was carnivorous, he had the capability of processing the protein and vitamins out of the fruits and vegetables in order to make them edible, giving him another means to feed other than hunting and fishing.

Unexpectedly, the gadget began to emit a musical sort of chime, going off like a miniature siren. The man looked partly like he nearly wanted to drop it, but managed to hold on, staring down at it with wonder-filled eyes, turning his head this way and that as he inspected it, apparently at a loss for the cause. Fiddling with the holographic image display that he had called up, he was able to determine that the sound was in response to the close proximity of another device like itself (or at least close within galactic standards), which could only mean one thing. The man had programmed his handheld device to go off like that during such an event, but that had been over thousands of years ago now, and until this moment, he had all but forgotten about it.

Again, the noise from the small device went off, indicating that the distance between his device and the other was growing nearer. It had been too long for him to recall when the last time he felt so very near the emotion of hopeful was, but to him it seemed as if he was experiencing it for the first time in his long life.

Then, his world collapsed. His attention was ripped away from the short-lived personal triumph as the sound of footsteps and rustling met his ears. Someone was nearby. Someone else had heard his device go off. Someone was now yelling at him. He crouched down, silent, listening, his heart beginning to race. Deciding it best to try and outrun the person, he took off, down the path his device had previously set for him, racing as fast as his legs could carry him, fear of being seen overwhelming him, flooding him with renewed emotions his kind so very rarely exhibited.

Then the sound of blaster fire cut through the air. The lasers fried holes into the surrounding foliage, missing him by centimeters. And then one hit its mark. One bolt pierced him in the arm, and biting his tongue was all he could do to suppress a cry of shock and pain. Deep red blood, the same color as a human’s, spilled out of the wound, and knowing he could not run now without getting dizzy and lightheaded, thus causing him to be slow and potentially give away his position, he fell to the ground and proceeded to rip cloth off from his clothing to wrap and dress the wound. His sensors on the small device indicated the person who shot at him was now moving hastily toward the direction of Phasmoenia City, leaving him behind to gaze longingly up at the firework display overhead.


Last edited by Fayt Fyre on Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:37 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Caligo: Days to Come

Post by Gadreille on Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:24 pm

Brenna wandered throughout the festival grounds, looking for her daughter. There were many tents, mostly alike, and there was very little organization to the set up. Tents that served food were spread out around the festival, rather than all being located in one place. She would stumble upon an aroma, and as if by magic a light would fly out from somewhere for her to see better the sign of the company...four times the light revealed the wrong tent, and by the fifth she had finally found the catering company Lyra worked for, a restaurant that catered on the side called Emille's..

Her blonde curly hair was pulled back into a bun, and covered with a hair net. She was commanding her colleagues with demanding precision, treating each dish as if it were for a critic within the kitchen of Emille's. The shades of the people working took orders, cleared tables, and made sure each customer was being taken care of. There were tables set out, a little light hovering over each one. There was also a line coming from the tent that must have been a good two hour wait, though everyone stood patiently, looking at their surroundings, glancing up at the sky for hope to see a glimpse of a firework.

Brenna excused herself as she bypassed the line to say hello to her daughter. Most of the people waiting became agitated, but none said anything and a couple of them even recognized her and then began explaining to others around them who she was and why she was going ahead. When Lyra had first become head cook of Emille's, Brenna would always politely explain when she wanted to visit her daughter; but after years and years of it, she lost patience in the matter.

"Mom!" Lyra said with a smile, adding a finishing sauce to the dish she was working on and calling a waiter to deliver it. "Want me to get something for you?" She asked.

"No, no, just wanted to see my lovely daughter in action...You have really done a lot for Emille's catering. He never used to have a line before!" Brenna smiled.

"Just doing my job...better than the last cook." She added with wink. "Here Mom, cut this while we talk." And so Brenna removed her gloves, put on an apron, washed her hands and began to help out in the makeshift kitchen. She knew little of cooking, and so always did whatever Lyra directly ordered. Their conversation was often interrupted by these orders, but time spent together was time spent, and worth it no matter what they were doing. Now that Lyra was long since grown, they didn't see each other like they used to.

"Are your uncles around?" Sometimes they came to help too, but she hadn't seen either of them.

"Lorus is storytelling to some of the children; I haven't seen Johan today. Mom, stir that." Lyra walked off to deliver another order, and Brenna contently stirred.

She came back, and they were quiet for a while, Lyra only speaking up once in a while to give another direction. Brenna began to hear the fireworks overhead, seeing the colors flash through the fabric of the tent and the ends of the display falling far away. Neither stopped working.

"Lyra, when are you going to have some fun? You needn't be as hardworking as I. I've had years of play."

"Work is fun," Lyra responded tartly.

“You know what I mean, Lyra. I just want to see you happy. Truly happy. There hasn’t been one man to catch your eye?” Brenna tried to ease the topic in, but Lyra’s temper flared, and she slammed the ladel onto the table top.

“And how did that work out for you, Mother?” She always called her Mother when she was angry, but it was what she said that truly hit her heart. Brenna took a breath, and gave Gabriel a silent ‘No, Thank You’, when he asked her if she needed him, telepathically.

“Well, I have a wonderful memory, and a wonderful daughter, so I think it worked out just fine,” Brenna responded, and Lyra sniffed, but said nothing.

Many volunteers had deserted the tent for the firework display, but people were still hungry, and Brenna wouldn’t abandon her daughter. “Gabriel, go find my brothers. She needs more help,” and Gabriel flew off into the night on the nearly impossible mission. Brenna took off the apron and grabbed a writing tablet.

“I’ll start taking orders,” Brenna said, and left the kitchen behind.
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Re: Caligo: Days to Come

Post by Guest on Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:49 pm

Imstad stared at the crowd spread out around him. He was sweating like he never had during the war. Allie nudged the back of his leg with her snout.

“Do not worry,” her voice said in his mind. “This will be easy!” Imstad shook his head. He should never have agreed to this. How long had it been since he had spent time in the company of others? How many times had it led to disaster? He knew Allie missed it; it was her nature to be social, and she claimed it was his as well. Whatever his nature was, it had been subdued in favor of survival. His instincts now were telling him to run.

“How can you be so excited?” Imstad asked telepathically. “You don’t even know any of these people.”

Allie glared up at him, though more of her irritation was communicated through their mental link than her bright white eyes. “That is your fault.” Imstad sighed loudly. He knew when she cornered him into this that no amount of arguing was going to change their course. He might as well retain what dignity he had.

Fingering his pistol, hidden in his belt beneath his long coat, for comfort, Imstad walked into the milling crowd of Caligoan’s, all celebrating the great victory that ended the war with Blue Trinity ten years ago. Imstad had done his own part in many of those battles, though his various mercenary groups never retained the fame of the Caligo Security Force.

“We should find some place to eat!” Allie said excitedly. Eating meant sticking to one place, and that meant being cornered by people who were interested in making conversation. Imstad shuddered. Allie raced ahead and Imstad was forced to pick up his pace to keep up. He could not help but notice that there were tents and people everywhere, and his mental preparations of securing possible escape routes was not really working out for him. There would be no escaping from this festival without fighting his way out. The lights floating high in the sky above him left little in the way of shadows to hide in, and every tent was well lit on the inside.

“Hurry!” Allie said telepathically. He just caught sight of her black tail disappearing behind a group of talking CSF officers. He dipped his head as he passed by them. He certainly respected the CSF, but he had a revulsion to belonging to any sort of organization. It had never worked out for him in the past.
Imstad finally caught up to Allie at a tent with a large sign labeled Emille’s. Allie was standing behind a long line of people.

“What are you waiting for?” Imstad asked. “Just go in!”

“This is called a line, Imstad. You stand here and wait for your turn, which I estimate to be at least an hour. Most people pass the time talking and socializing, though if you want to stand there with your arms crossed and your foot tapping, then go ahead.” Allie turned away from him and stalked over to an Inklaw. The shade’s female Caligoan smiled down at the pair, and then turned her smile to Imstad.

“Ah, shit…” he mumbled under his breath.

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Re: Caligo: Days to Come

Post by Bird of Hermes on Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:33 pm

The winds were unusually calm over the island and that was saying very much for a place known for its temperamental weather system. Caligo was not known for its clear skies nor its gentle waters. Perhaps that was why Aether Votalis’s Shade, an Inklaw named Maelstrom, refused to accompany her on her flight.

Or, perhaps, her companion was contemplating the origin of the universe again.

Aether was betting on the latter as she began the process of attaching her Sprite to her lithe body. Reattaching the mechanical, insect-like wings to her back was always a laborious and even painful task. Sometimes she would begin to wonder why she would even bother removing them in the first place until she realized how uncomfortable it was to sleep with such a contraption attached to her back. She sighed as she leaned over so that she could get a clear view of her back in the mirror as she sat on the white sheets of the bed in what was once her mother’s bedroom. As her back came into view of the mirror, she could see the metallic holes that traced both sides of her spine. Each golden ring was embedded into her flesh and held the vital link to her nervous system that the winged technology needed to work. She arched her pale back as she began to fit the brace that held the glorious wings to her spine. Aether breathed deeply as she inserted the first of several rods into the open sockets on her shoulders. Her hands felt the vibration of the connection as soon as the machine began its automatic attachment protocol. She braced her body against her arms as she felt each node lock into place with a familiar and painful click.

Still with a half grimace on her lips, she brushed back her short, wild white hair and stared into the mirror with her blue-grey eyes.

“His loss.”

The words, as they traced off her lips, reminded her of how the marks in her back came to be and her eyes faded and became distant in the mirror as they usually did when she was remembering an event from her long past. Now was not the time. But the memory flowed back anyway. She could sound so much like her mother sometimes and that always made her think of him – her father. One way or another, Aether’s thoughts always came back to those days when she was just a child. Perhaps because she knew that everything – her life, her loss, her fate – everything came full circle and rided on those few far-fling memories.

Aether knew that Maelstrom would come around - for her Shade always did. Maelstrom was the one thing in her life that truly stayed consistent over the years. The curious Inklaw would never miss the festival nor could he stray far from her – that she knew. Despite their differences that had grown through the years; the Caligoian and her Shade were both parts of one soul. They had been so for the past two centuries and some things cannot change even in that time. Like there is always calm before a storm, the two always flew together.

So Aether was not surprised to find Storm, as she sometimes called him, perched upon her doorstep tapping his metallic silver beak on the glass that made up most of the house’s structure.

“Before you make a comment, I can assure you that any witty remark about my appetite for carrion, my fickleness about flying in calm weather or scratching the glass with my beak need not be stated as I could find no animals worth the trouble of a chase, I am present and accounted for our evening flight and I was quite careful not to damage this glass tree-house your mother called a home.”

The Inklaw pranced quite indignantly at the foot of his owner while in his black-feathered critter form. His white eyes closed as he ruffled his feather, shook his tail and nodded his head. He seemed quite proud of himself.

Aether was not amused.

“Done talking now? Good. I have some things I would like to forget.”

Aether powered on her wings with the windy hum of the iridescent appendages’ vibrations drowning out the tired but true rebuttal from her Shade - “When do you not?”


Last edited by Bird of Hermes on Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Caligo: Days to Come

Post by Dax on Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:17 pm

The wind, rain and lightning fell on Arthur Sullivan’s estate, creating a cocktail of sorrow, shared only between man and shade. For hundreds of years, the water from the sky has never let up its assault on this piece of land, be it a mist, drizzle or a near-flood. The wet and cold caress of rain became the norm for Arthur. He did not care. Rain only stings when there is something to douse, something to cool. For M. Sullivan, any trace of that warmth or passion had left long ago with the people who held all of it.

‘I am going away for a bit, Arty.’

Her voice echoed not only in his head, but through the empty shell that was his mansion and through the dark, lifeless woods that surrounded it. It never stopped. That one sentence that sealed him to this fate, those eight words that locked his soul in a preconceived shell and threw away the key, killing the man he once was. When she left, his wife, his love, his Eve, she selfishly took a part of him with her.

Arthur Sullivan walked through his woods, a heavy, brown trench coat on his back, a thick oak cane in one hand and his Bownyte shade, Mortenai ‘Morty’, slowly keeping pace to his side. It was just another endless stroll through the never ending maze of rotting trees, moss mounds and bare branches. The rain was batting hard against Arthur’s coat and head, completely drenching him. Morty rubbed his muzzle against Arthur’s hand, trying, once again and always in vain, to get his friend’s mood up. Arty simply grasped his shade and then gently patted him on the head. In response, Morty grew warmer, creating a small area of warmth, shielding him and Arthur from the cold and rain as they walked. This all happened in silence. Arthur doesn’t like speaking to say nothing. If he is going to open his mouth, it is for something important.

He wasn’t always like this, though. Once upon a time, this place, and all those who lived within it, was as lively as could be. Arthur was a loved history professor and a law hobbyist. Arthur was as lively as could be, with the fire of ambition in his eye and the burning heat of passion in his heart for his job and family; his estate was the site for many wonderful evenings, get-togethers and all sorts of soirees. Once the contents of his house gone, which were those who gave him the will and capability to go to work, to be active and not be afraid of the world, he soon slumbered into darkness. He cut all ties with the outside, and has not left his estate since, except when he absolutely had to. He hasn’t spoken to any of his friends in ages, mostly because he refused to do so. He instead fills his days with these walks, and remembering his wife and life as they once were. He has not lived since the night his Eve left.

It wasn’t as if it came as a surprise to him that his love left. Before she left, their love had come across a terrible trial: the death of their two kids, Marc-Anthony and Isabella. When the twins were born, everything looked like it was going according to plan. That plan being simple: happiness. It only took a couple of years for everything to crumble. The two kids were at a daycare, where they both died in a mysterious fire. It destroyed both his wife and himself. They were complete wrecks. They barely ate, barely spoke and barely left the house. It was only a matter of time until one of them cracked. It was Eve. She left with barely a good bye and never returned, leaving Arthur now to bear with the loss of his kids and now his wife…

Deep in thought, not minding his surroundings, Arthur reached the end of his forest. He laid his eyes on what was one of the most beautiful sights he ever saw, or at least what was left in his memory. He stood over a steep cliff that gave over a large part of the island. His estate was positioned on a reclusive corner of the island, on a small peninsula that gave out into the ocean. His house bordered the ocean, and there was about a mile circumference around his house that held barely any trees. Out of that perimeter laid his famed forest. It stretched a couple miles; the only sign of civilization in it was the gravel road connecting the estate to the outside world.

The view that was offered Arthur was slightly different that it was only two days ago. There seemed to be more activity, there appeared to be tents, some smoke and an odd aura of joy surrounding it. That was peculiar. It wasn’t something Arthur liked seeing. He preferred the calm and peace that was the norm around this island. He didn’t want to have anything more to do with this thing, it was t- ‘Oh come on, you old man, you take almost as much time as me to get ready!’ Eve said playfully, helping Isabella to put on her little shoes. ‘You know that’s not true… we’d be here all night if that were the case!’ Arthur arose from the hallway, with a big smile of his face. ‘Uh huh,’ responded his wife, ‘at the pace we’re going we will be here all night, I don’t want to be late again for the festival…’ – Arthur came back to his senses with a huge gasp of air. The cold rain trickled down his neck and the winds caressed him mockingly. His family… his family was now but a figment of his imagination.

Once Arthur recuperated from his journey into his unconscious, the notion of these festivities started coming back to him. As the memories came back, so did the urge to attend it. It was very tempting. But he knew he couldn’t, if only because he did not want to face all of the people that would be there. Still, Arthur reached for one of the pockets inside his trench coat to hold the keys to his Cricket Sky Pod. All at the same time he wanted to go, yet he didn’t.

His Bownyte Shade, Morty, was sitting next to him the whole time. He stared both at the scenery and the festivities, and Arthur. He knew very well the dilemma that was unfolding in his friend’s head. He knew exactly how to solve it. Without warning, Morty jumped up and with his paw smacked the pocket where Arthur was holding his keys. That caused his CSP to start making its way to the keys. Arthur quickly backed away and stared at his Shade. Before he could say anything, his ride was floating right next to him, door open, waiting for him to get in. “Well,” started Arthur slowly, “I do believe you just took my decision for me.” Morty looked Arthur right in the eye. ‘I know, and you’re welcome’, were the words that popped into Arthurs head.

Arthur laughed for the first time he could remember and climbed into his CSP. A few minutes later he was walking, side by side with his shade on the festival grounds.
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Re: Caligo: Days to Come

Post by Fate Flyer on Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:34 am

It wasn’t hard to navigate through the tight crowds that filled the cheery Caligoan festival grounds. At least, not for Faust Altus.

Dressed as an ordinary civilian, the tall, dark, brooding man weaved in and out of the throngs, his feline-like Grimalkin Shade, Bane, at his heels in his critter form – around the height of an average house cat. Though Faust was often times in the public eye, being in such an influential role that he was in, he did not want to run into anyone from S&S (or any other gang for that matter) who would, without thinking, speak to him out in public, thus revealing to the rest of the population his true affinities with the dangerous syndicates. To help matters, Bane was incorporeal, so as to pass right through anyone who might unwittingly step on or in front of the ghost-like cat. Furthermore, Bane was utilizing his talents to their fullest, in that he was exercising his ability to manipulate reality, warping it to his liking, in this case to better camouflage Faust from those who might recognize him as one of the greatest conspirators of this time. The Grimalkin was only able to create illusions though, unable to change things for real or permanently. As of current, Faust appeared to look like a young, unattractive woman, no one worth anyone’s attention, and he certainly wasn’t drawing any interest to himself. As much as it helped him from avoiding anyone in order to hopefully soon locate his apprentice, Corbin Cove, it was altogether unsettling for the nearly eight-hundred-year-old man, who had never once considered what it might be like to be a woman, let alone to be perceived as one.

I don’t like this, Bane, Faust mentally thought to his companion as he was looking down at “his” high heels, plain blouse, and A-line skirt, which appeared unflattering on his apparently large, round hips. Let’s just hope we find Corbin soon, before this look makes me snap and I end up strangling him. Or you, for that matter.

Bane said nothing, but if a Grimalkin could smile, he certainly was mimicking that human expression well.


The sights, sounds, and (sometimes disturbingly) smells of the festival filled the senses, and it was hard for anyone, including even Faust, to not want to take a moment to soak it all up and enjoy it, just as Kian Vond, the Chief Commander, had instructed him. Music played through mini speakers that floated on repelifts while people danced on the long, wooden strip of dance floor under a pavilion in front of a not-so-modest stage that was currently empty, waiting for the live music – a well-known and well-received local rock band called Vapor. Some smaller rides, including the equivalent to a Ferris wheel, mini-train, and bumper cars (or bumper hovercrafts, rather) were gathered in one area of the festival, and nearby stood restaurants where hard-working, devoted cooks and servers made the patrons’ experiences enjoyable. Friends and family of all varying group sizes strolled the walkways and grounds, some holding hands in a tranquil appreciation for the event, others running or walking briskly around in excitement. It would be perhaps one of the most memorable occasions for many Caligoans, especially for those who hearts and lives the war affected so personally.

As Faust and Bane made their way around, both their eyes peeled for the spiky blonde hair of Corbin in the masses, something caught the dark man’s attention. He paused mid step, listening intently. His Shade, who was the exact reflection of Faust himself down to even the constant scowl that seemed permanent on his otherwise attractive face, froze too, his round ears flicking forward while his tail thrashed about wildly and his claws extended and then retracted continuously, instantly aroused, like a wild cat suddenly on the hunt. So abruptly captivated was he, that he did not even so much flick his eyes over to meet Faust’s gaze as his glowing red orbs sought someone in particular. Faust seemed to have been holding his breath, waiting.

A laugh. Yes, there it was, breaking through the rest of the droning voices from all around. Somewhere, not far in the direction they had been heading, was someone Faust and his companion knew all too well, for they had, both by chance and by having made a point of it, run into each other from time to time over the many years. The laughter was followed by a few words spoken in the familiar feminine voice, and he was then certain it was her. Faust felt his heart nearly stop, and his jaw fell slack. Bane now tore his gaze away from the tent they both heard the woman coming from to glare up at his partner, feeling both ashamed of their sudden distraction and annoyed by the fact that they had become momentarily mesmerized. Still, Faust could sense the inner longing Bane felt that he too couldn’t hide.

They had been together for hundreds of years now. The human and Shade had gotten to the point where they didn’t even always need to speak telepathically to each other in order to understand one another. Faust knew that, despite wanting to go see her just as much he himself did, Bane would insist they continue their search for Corbin. Nonetheless, Bane was also aware that while Faust knew the gravity of their task, he would be unable to deny stopping by the refreshment tent to at least say hello. And so, neither wasted time arguing about the matter, and Bane simply fell behind Faust as the man started forward again, this time heading directly towards the colorful and large tent that easily fit dozens of people. Bane clenched his teeth, but by his stiff gait and by the way his ears fell to the back of his head, Faust could tell the Grimalkin would want this to be a quick visit, which only expressed to Faust that he wanted to continue on their search as well very soon.

Dissolving the illusion around Faust as they neared the tent, Bane released the false impression. To anyone who might have been observing the Caligoan, it looked as if the woman he had once been melted away to be replaced by a much more handsome man in a dark jacket with a button-up shirt underneath and some fashionable dark-wash denim pants – a stark contrast.





“Remember that time mom forgot our one hundred and seventy-eighth birthday?” Ayden Vesper asked as he downed his second cocktail, making sure to face his mother so that the small graying spot on the back of his head was out of view.

“Not this story again!” Ava, his twin, mock protested but with a wry grin.

Kyte rolled her eyes and shook her head at her best friend Sophia, who was sitting in the bar stool next to her. Both their Inklaws, Voltaire and Koko, were sitting on their shoulders, and since the two friends were right shoulder-to-shoulder, the birds were able to enjoy one another’s company. “I’ll never live this one down,” Kyte muttered with an embarrassed smile.

“She knew it was someone’s birthday though,” said Sophia, picking up the story with her genuine smile bedazzling them as it always did. “She called me up and asked to meet for lunch at the café on the corner, and then when I came, she had all kinds of balloons and sparklers and streaming confetti all over the place, along with that huge, ridiculous sign floating on repelifts that said, ‘Happy birthday, Sophia!’” The short-haired blonde woman smiled sympathetically, turning toward her long-time best friend. “It was really sweet. And you certainly surprised me!”

Kyte had to laugh at that, despite herself. It sure had been an amusing day in their history. After having lived so many years, it grew hard to remember when birthdays were, especially when they all went by so quickly. “Well, I never did forget whose birthday was when after that!”

Not far from where the group sat reminiscing, someone walked up to one of the voluptuous bartenders and asked, “May I have a carbonated rum and a slice of lime?”

Not only did the voice sound all-too-familiar, but the beverage the man ordered was even something Kyte recognized as an old favorite of an acquaintance in recent years of hers, someone she had all but put out of her mind lately. Her curiosity now sparked, the redhead turned to glimpse the man ordering next to them.

“Faust.” The name escaped her lips before she even realized it. Startled, both by his presence and by her having now drawn his attention to herself, Kyte’s cheeks reddened ever so slightly. Voltaire, her Inklaw, hopped over to perch on her other shoulder, the one farthest from Faust.

Turning dramatically slow and appearing a bit too nonchalant, Faust met Kyte’s green eyes, his own dark ones seeming to sparkle in the spectacle of lights that decorated the tent. Throwing on his best surprised smile, he grabbed his drink that had just been placed in front of him and rounded on Kyte, not once acknowledging the others she was with.

“Kyte! It is a pleasure running into you here.” She struggled for words to follow up with, not exactly wanting to return the compliment, but luckily Faust continued, as if to some degree understanding and not wanting it to get awkward. “How have you been?”

Bane licked his lips up at Voltaire, fully exposing his saber teeth, though not out of hunger – more so out of other yearning desires and cravings.

As pleasantries were exchanged, Kyte began to wonder when her husband, Valin, would be arriving. It had been over an hour ago now since the two of them arrived at the Outsiders’ War Reunion Festival. She knew he and Sophia’s husband, Gavin, always enjoyed spending some quality guy-time together, usually discussing CSF, but she had hoped she’d be able to spend the majority of the night arm-in-arm with him too, especially since he was always so busy with work as of late. The opening firework show had already finished up, and Kyte and Sophia had managed to wander around the park observing and taking in most everything, and they even managed to find Kyte’s two children. Now Faust was here, and Kyte knew how much Valin disliked the other man. As much as she wanted to husband to find her, she hoped she could coax Faust into letting them be before his arrival.

Sophia Evers made an obvious attempt to clear her throat as Faust delved right into conversation with her best friend, not once making eye contact with the girl she was sitting so close to that they were practically leaning on one another. When Faust finally took notice of the short-haired woman with big, round eyes, and then, in succession, of the twins Ava and Ayden, their expressions clearly did not hide the disapproval and disdain they felt toward the military, legal, and national security advisor who they all did not trust, knowing that he was also somehow involved with Soulless and Shadeless, as that’s how Kyte met him – conversing with a few of its members.

“Well, it has been good seeing you,” Kyte stated evenly, breaking the sudden icy silence that fell on them. After Faust finished his drink, the conversation grew tired.

Faust’s eyes narrowed slightly, and he didn’t look ready to say goodbye, but Bane was now pacing back and forth, looking somewhat agitated. Suddenly, the air itself seemed to drop a few degrees as Valin, in his usual impeccable timing, entered the tent, followed by his close friend Gavin and a few other Caligo Security Force officers. Bane hissed audibly, and Faust felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up. He already disliked CSF, and being that Valin was also married to Kyte gave Faust all the more reason to hate the man. Turning around stiffly, Faust glared over at the officers, his hard eyes betraying none of the fear and panic he was starting to feel, given his involvement in S&S. Instead, he looked nothing short of livid.

Valin’s eyes flickered over to his wife’s, and she just shook her head, her expression unreadable. Comet, the horned, black jackal-like creature at Valin’s side, snarled softly, his cold eyes seeming to glow all the more intensely. Rounding on Faust, Valin, in his intimidating black uniform, lowered his voice so deeply that Faust almost had to strain his ears to hear over the noisy conversations of all the other people, his tone sharp and final. “If I see you again near my wife, you will be sorry.”

Comet was now beginning to circle Bane, who seemed to have lost all interest and licking his chops at Voltaire. The canine and feline were fully corporeal, unafraid, neither backing down, and both were in their monster forms, hardly having enough space to maneuver around the tent. Suddenly, Bane stopped moving, his intentions in tune with Faust’s, and the Grimalkin simply slinked back into his critter form, disappearing almost from sight as he became transparent, and Faust did likewise, disappearing beyond the large tent without so much as a word. He himself almost seemed to vanish like a ghost – probably one of Bane’s illusion-generated shrouds. It was almost eerie, as the tension had been so thick that it was evident to everyone nearby, and it seemed even Valin was expecting some sort of fight, but the other man left so swiftly and abruptly, that it took them all off guard.

Sighing and then shrugging over at Kyte, Valin set his hands down on her shoulders, as she was still sitting in her stool. She smiled warily up at him, Voltaire circling protectively overhead. “He’s harmless,” she insisted with more conviction about that than she felt. “I’m glad you’ve finally decided to join me though. I’ve missed you.”

Valin’s face visibly softened, and he lowered his head to be eye level with hers. “Me too,” he agreed and then kissed her.




Xenox Delpherok was his name, not that even he hardly cared to remember it. The man and his kind were considered deities among the Caligoan natives, and rightly so, for his species was the most ancient and primordial in the known universe, and yet he felt neither wise nor important. He had spent hundreds of human generations living in solitude on the island, or more accurately, right off the coast of the island in an underwater makeshift home, for he and his kind were (by human standards) immortal. True, immortality was only something they, the Provectus, had ever granted the Caligoans by use of their far superior and seldom understood technology. However, with the typical lifespan of an average Provectus being between eight to ten thousand years, in a human’s eyes, that could easily be deemed eternal.

Their technology was what kept them alive for so long, for the most part. Unaided by such luxuries only allowed a Provectus to naturally live for a few hundred years, perhaps a millennia if they were lucky. Xenox had been a byproduct of his kind’s technology just like every other citizen of his planet, implanted from birth with any number of devices and nanotechnology that would, in addition to countless other functions, grant him the likelihood to live for thousands of years. He had relied on this in hopes of one day returning to his planet, however implausible, since the Provectus had agreed to not return to Caligo anymore and to simply observe their creation and their experiment from afar. Still, if they were to realize one of their own had been left behind all those thousands of years ago when their project was still fresh and new, perhaps they would send a team or at least send someone to retrieve him.

Xenox had not been so lucky.

His species was not known in the universe for being thoughtful or for expressing emotion, such as regret or sorrow in this case. In fact, they had little emotion whatsoever, and so it was likely that, even if the Provectus he arrived with on this particular operation did realize (which they no doubt did by now) that one of their scientists had been forgotten, they would not consider it a priority or even an obligation to recover him, for the mere fact that he, Xenox, was unimportant, as were all individual Provectus. Each as a single being was not regarded as special -- which also was a belief spawned from their lack of emotions -- yet as a unit, as a community, and as a team of worldwide scientists, they were the most important, influential, and unstoppable beings in the universe.

Though emotions had been, to some extent, bred out of them, along with the reality of their society frowning on such feelings and considering them weaknesses, Xenox found that as his years passed on Earth, the more he began to feel again in the slightest degree. He wasn’t sure if he attributed this to the planet and being around humans, or simply the fact that he was no longer surrounded by the harsh and strict outlook of others of his kind when it came to feeling or expressing things. The scientist side of him found this fascinating and wickedly intriguing, and so for many years he studied himself and his emotions, charting out the influxes in them over time and how they progressed. It was conceivable, he concluded, that emotions had not been completely wiped from their genetics, as many Provectus had been led, or rather encouraged, to believe. Although it was believable that, no matter what their upbringing, some emotions simply had disappeared over the course of their evolution, it seemed more to Xenox that they were also often suppressed long ago when each Provectus was young.

As captivating as it had been to study this anomaly in himself over the decades, even that research had gone stale after awhile, along with the dozens of other projects, experiments, and studies he had been conducting.

One on-going assignment, of course, was to document and study the Caligoans on the very island he had been trapped on. A researcher through-and-through and at his very core -- doubtless from the millions of scientists that inhabited his planet for billions of years -- Xenox was determined to never let the Caligoans catch even the slightest glimpse of him, for then his cover and the Provectus’ would be blown forever, and their experiment would have an unintended and large factor added into the equation after a time when their influence was supposed to have been long ended, and adding in a variable of that magnitude, he assumed, would cause great distress amongst his fellow Provectus.

It was this fact and this fact alone that left Xenox with the biggest of riddles though and kept him hopeful for so long, for if he was to be trapped on the island forever and could disrupt and even spoil the experiment that they had worked so very hard to create, then why would his kind not immediately return to take him back, to remove him as a potential threat to their very study? They had the cloaking technology for their crafts to descend onto the island unnoticed, so that wouldn’t have been an issue. Perhaps they truly were unaware of his presence and didn’t realize one of their scientists wasn’t unaccounted for. That seemed too unlikely though. It was possible that they knew he was left behind but trusted him enough to not interfere or be seen. Another theory, Xenox eventually settled on, was that maybe – and this was what first inspired his feelings that resembled anger and frustration to surface – the Provectus not only knew he was trapped on Caligo, but were actually hopeful that he would reveal himself to the natives, and that this was all part of their great experiment. It could have been that they had been planning to leave behind one of their scientists from the very start, and Xenox was somehow the one chosen or simply the one most convenient to forget at the time, and now his presence was all part of the big picture.

This hypothesis, he had to admit, seemed the most likely, and it unnerved him. He had, for so very long, worked so hard to keep their experiment untainted, to not interfere, and to stay out of the way while also trying to continue on with his personal research for their project. Now, he realized, he was more trying to avoid the Caligoans to spite the rest of his species than out of trying not to contaminate the experiment. If he was part of their own test without having known it and was supposed to interact with the Caligoans, then he was going to do everything in his power to avoid such a thing. He would not be giving them the pleasure of using him as a tool, so long as he could help it. He was an ancient being, capable of complex and advanced thought that almost all other beings in the universe could not comprehend. He would not be used by his own kind without having been briefed beforehand, even if that was meant to have been part of the experiment and the intention to begin with.

Crouching beneath a willow tree that sat along one of the many streams that pockmarked Caligo, Xenox waited. His eyes were like hollow holes into a vast emptiness of outer space, so black that, if not for their reflection in the moon’s glow, were undetectable in the foggy night. He stared intently out at the crowds some hundred meters ahead of him through the forest. They were gathered in the clearing that they referred to as a park, but tonight the park had been transformed into something spectacular known as a festival. He did not quite understand its purpose, but the meaning was comprehensible to him.

A fair length of time had passed since his encounter with one of the Caligoans, and while the young man did not happen to see Xenox, he did some damage in another way by means of physically wounding the alien. The laser fire had just grazed his right arm, and while it wasn’t serious, it was deep enough to cause him to bleed profusely. He had managed to dress the wound with his shirt’s cloth that he ripped off, and he had to admire the irony of that -- needing to rely on such a primitive form of bandaging an injury. It was strange for him to not be able to turn to his technology and devices for aid, but everything he had of that nature was all left behind in his underwater home, instruments, gadgets, machinery, tools, and robotics that he either had on him back when he and the rest of his species were living openly on the island, or that he had scavenged from Caligoans themselves and repurposed to be even more advanced and adequate.

A crowd of people was beginning to gather in the area far in front of him. He was safely hidden behind all the trees, and with the fog cover and darkness, was able to slowly make his way toward the festival grounds to get a better look. It appeared as if a band was going to be performing on the stage in front of the growing crowd, and this was an excellent opportunity, Xenox decided, to document Caligoan entertainment and the effects it had on people (not to mention the effects it might have on him).

It took him a few minutes to get close enough to see properly, and he did have to admit that he was much closer to the humans than he would have liked, but he still felt relatively safe in his hiding spot amongst the trees and foliage. His pale and almost luminescent white skin did nothing to conceal him, but at least his dark blue hair blended in nicely with the night. It would have to suffice. Cloaking technology had been developed for personal use some time ago by his species, but regrettably he did not have anything like that with him and was also unable to build such equipment with the supplies he had to steal on Caligo. Undeterred and as resolute as any of his kind, Xenox would not like such complications stand in his way of learning and gaining knowledge.

Unbeknownst to him, however, was the small yet dangerously important fact that, despite his best efforts at putting pressure on his blaster wound and tying it up, deep red blood began to seep out, dripping innocently to the forest floor and undergrowth surrounding him.




It had been a couple hours since the festival started, and Corbin Cove was just arriving via Grimalkin-back. His Shade, Grayv, anxiously slumped into his critter form, exhausted from the run and still somewhat shocked by the curious events that had unfolded earlier in the woods. Upon arriving, Corbin too had to rest his hands on his knees and breathe deeply. The fatigue his Shade felt was also an inconvenience he experienced through their connection. He looked down at the fierce Grimalkin, his playful and youthful face twisted into an expression as if to say, ‘It was no easier for me!’ The ride had only gotten them both there faster.

They eventually made their way around to the different tents and attractions, not so much seeking out anything in particular other than a certain person – Faust Altus. It was another man though, equally as serious-looking , that found him first.

The CSF officer was dressed in full uniform and approached him directly and assuredly, advising Corbin to remain calm and not to cause a scene. The man confirmed with his datapad that Corbin was indeed on Kian Vond, the Chief Commander’s, list of people of interest. The man’s Bownyte made it clear that they were to be taken in for questioning, yet before the Caligo Security Force officer could place Corbin under arrest, the blonde man simply exchanged a quick affirmation with his Grimalkin, and the saber-toothed feline targeted both the man and his Shade with pleasure, manipulating their memories to erase all thoughts of Corbin Cove from their minds. It only took an instant, and by the time the CSF officer and his Shade regained complete consciousness, Corbin and Grayv were gone, disappeared into the sea of people, leaving the officer and the Bownyte dazed and forgetful.




“You sure we’ll find seats?” Kyte asked as she, her husband Valin, and their friends, Sophia and Gavin, left the refreshments tent in order to make their way toward the stage where the popular band Vapor would be playing soon. Ava and Ayden, their twins, had decided to head off on their own to mingle with their friends and other family members, not having appreciated Vapor as much as Kyte’s generation. “We probably should have left earlier; I bet it’s packed.”

Volatire, the Inklaw, swooped in low from above to land in his usual perch on Kyte’s shoulder but was anxiously shifting around in place, glowering down at Comet, Valin’s Bownyte, who seemed to not have noticed.

“Yes, we’ll find seats, and no, I’m sure we left at the right time,” Valin insisted with a confident smile and with his arm wrapped around her shoulders, kissing his wife reassuringly on the head.

“If you say so,” came Gavin Evers’ uncertain voice from off to the side, where he and Sophia walked hand-in-hand.

By the time the four friends reached the site, it was clear that Valin was wrong on both accounts. Every last seat that had been provided in front of the stage had been long taken, and people were trying to pack themselves in and around the seating area, leaving no room to navigate or approach the stage. It seemed everyone on Caligo wanted to watch Vapor play, especially tonight with their tribute song written especially for the fallen soldiers and dead or suffering (Shadeless) civilians from the war which they had never played before. It was going to be quite a treat, especially for the many fans.

Ever the realist, Voltaire said, “Better get moving and find someplace to watch where you can at least see...” Fixing Koko, Sophia’s Inklaw, with his glowing, ghostly white eyes, he added, “Too bad for you guys you aren’t as privileged as some of us here and have wings.” With that, he and the other Inklaw took off toward the treetops at the far back of the crowd, right where they met the edge of the forest.

Kyte rolled her eyes but suddenly wished she was able to fly her Cricket Skycraft overhead, if only it weren’t for aerial traffic having been prohibited in the park during the festival. “See? Didn’t I tell you?” she asked, jabbing her husband in the side playfully but with a bit of force.

“Hey, look at it this way,” Valin replied with a mischievous smile that belonged to someone unbefitting of his age, “if we didn’t get to stand all the way in the back, how would we share any intimate moments together during the performance?”

Comet barked.


Last edited by Fayt Fyre on Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:22 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Caligo: Days to Come

Post by Gadreille on Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:41 am

Brenna walked out of the tent to find her brother’s were already there. Gabriel hadn’t even left to look for them yet. It was fate. “Johan, Lorus, to the kitchens! Quick!” She ordered, and heard grumbles of “How do you do” fading behind her. She shook her head and laughed. Time for pleasantries later.

Brenna began checking in with those waiting in line to see if any wanted their orders to go; a few did, and she returned these tickets to the kitchen. As she came back out, she noticed a new customer had already arrived; his bownyte had just said hello to Gabriel. She gave an inward sigh and an outward smile to the bownyte’s companion, and walked forward.

Imstad rubbed his hand through his hair nervously, letting his head tilt forward toward the ground as the woman approached, smiling politely.

“Make eye contact!” Allie scolded as she ran forward to greet him.

Imstad lifted his head, and with as much motivation as he could muster, tried to make eye contact. There was a brief flash where his blue eyes connected with her brown ones, and then his eyes dropped again toward her chin.

“Hello, I’m Brenna. Welcome to Emille’s!” She said with a grin. Imstad noticed that she had a notepad in her hand. His tension released a bit. At least she had approached him for a reason, and not for idle chat. “Are you alone?” She asked.

“What?”

“Are you meeting anyone?”

“Oh…no.”

“Ah, alright. Well, if you are waiting for a table, it is going to be a while; but if you would like, I can take your order and wrap it up to-go for you.” Imstad managed to mumble an “Um” before she pulled a small menu out of her apron. “Here, take a look.”

Allie stood on her hind legs, letting her front paws rest over his elbow as she stuck her nose in the menu. “Oh, rabbit stew!” She said with a wolfish grin.

“Sure,” said Imstad, and went to hand back the menu. The woman lifted an eyebrow, and accepted the menu in return.

“Well, the rabbit stew is mostly for grimalkins and bownytes, but, that’s fine! It should be easy enough to get for the two of you. I’ll be right back.”

She turned and walked away, leaving Allie shaking her head at Imstad.

“What?” Imstad raised his shoulders in question. “It was on the menu. And I eat rabbit all of the time.”

Allie shook her head. “Yes, but not at Emille’s. You should have ordered something that you don’t eat all of the time. Oh well.”

Brenna went to the back and opened up one of the big heating pots that was filled to the brim with rabbit stew. She grabbed a couple of to-go bowls and filled them up, then placed them in the bag. She began to write out a receipt, but it being a shade dish, was hardly a charge. She decided that she would pay for it herself as a random good deed, and proceeded to take the order back to the customer.

On her way back out, she ran into Lyra, who abruptly ripped Brenna’s apron from her waist.

“Lyra! What on earth are you doing?” Brenna asked, searching for anger in her daughter’s face. Her daughter was smiling.

“I saw you. I’m not the only one who needs to have fun. He’s quite handsome, Mom,” She said with an evil little grin. No doubt Pan had been spying. Brenna glared at him, and he ducked behind Lyra and became incorporeal. “And with a bownyte, no less!” She added with a wink, before she disappeared back into the kitchen.

“I took an order!” She defended, but, with her brothers here and her apron successfully removed, she suddenly liked the idea of not working anymore. Perhaps she would wander about and actually look at the festival instead of just trying to work it. Perhaps she could do that…not by herself. Who knows, it could be fun. Or at least interesting. At the very least, her daughter made a valid point. Brenna had to lead by example. Brenna returned to Imstad with the bag of stew and one set of utensils, trying to think of what to say. The other customers glared a bit, and Brenna just shrugged. Tables take time, she muttered to herself.

“It smells delicious!” Allie said as she sniffed the bag that Brenna had just handed to Imstad. Silently, she added, Imstad, pay her.

“Oh, yea. How much?” He asked, as he dug a hand into his pocket.

Brenna waved her hand. “On the house,” she responded.

“Oh, how wonderful!” Allie said, and nudged Imstad’s leg with her horn.

“Thanks.” He said.

There was an awkward silence, and then Gabriel fluttered his wings. “We have finished our shift here, and I heard there is supposed to be a marvelous concert on the other side of the grounds. We were just heading that way. You should join us.”

Thank you, she said to Gabriel alone.

“I don’t…” Imstad started to say. You promised! “I think…we think that would be great,” he finished in a rush.

The four wandered throughout the grounds, heading toward the concert stage. Gabriel and Allie chatted as if they were long friends; Imstad said nothing, and so, Brenna did likewise. However, they were still getting to know one another through the conversation of their shades. It was enough to know that a part of them, at least, was pleasant company.

The crowd became more and more dense, until they realized that there was no way to move forward. A group of people had pushed up against the backside of the stage, and there was no going any further.

Brenna almost thought to fly over it, like many other inklaws were doing, but she wouldn't abandon the others. "Perhaps we can go around to the side," she offered.
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Re: Caligo: Days to Come

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:04 pm

Kaliska Makya could feel the music pumping through her body rhythmically, as if it was steadily building inside her, filling her, becoming one with her. She remained still, the sheer fabric of her skirt and cropped top moved only slight in time with her breathing and the occasional breeze that passed over the darkened stage.

The music grew steadily louder, and the lights began to gradually illuminate the stage where she sat as one would sit as if at a picnic though possibly too still. Her hand was raised as if to bet Shyam who sat in his critter form with her, his nose turned toward her hand in welcome of the petting that had not yet arrived. Finally, the lights reached full illumination, and the calm, peaceful music paused before resuming with a few other musical instruments added.

This was when she moved, as gracefully as the Grimalkin could. In a flourishing sort of way, her hand cascaded over Shyam’s head all the way over his back and tail until her hand touched only air. Her body arched as she moved to her feet in joyous dance that conveyed her contentment. As she danced around the stage with a small feline prancing at her side, they seemed leisurely, without a care in the world. Her skirt flowed around her legs, and he belt jingled merrily.

Suddenly, there was a slight shift in the music though it still retained relative ease, and another dancer moved across the stage. He was dressed strangely, in clothes that weren’t in fashion, a style that was only seen on Caligo by drifters. After dancing cautiously around the man, Kaliska took his hand and they danced together. All too soon, he tore himself away from her, the music changing to something more menacing and intense, and began to dance around Shyam like a bird of prey while the Grimalkin’s form flickered, moving from corporeal to incorporeal and back again. On this third change, the male dancer threw his arms out, and Shyam disappeared from the stage just as dark smoke billowed from it.

The fair haired female danced around the stage as if she had been wounded, her very movements conveying an intense agony. Four more dancers joined the stage as the music changed and drums of war began to pound like the beating of many hearts. Two of the dancers were dressed in the sheer, beautiful material like Kaliska with two shades at their sides, and two were dressed as drifters, shadeless. They danced around each other before rushing forward.

She was lifted off her feet and turned upside down by the original “drifter” as she flung her arms outward then inward, grabbing his legs and flipping herself right side up. Their dancing became more violent, more volatile yet still remaining rather beautiful in its intensity. For a moment, it seemed that the drifters had the advantage, dancing the others to one side of the stage, but with renewed vigor, the others seemed to push the “drifters” to the opposite side until they were completely out of sight.

More dancers and a few shade companions moved onto the stage, all dressed as Kaliska was. Their dancing became sad yet triumphant until at last the orchestra hit its last note and the lights went out on the stage.

An uproar from the crowd permeated the air, and the dancers on the stage all smiled as they left it as gracefully as they had entered. The festival was officially opened!


Kaliska and Shyam met again in the dressing tent as she changed into her festival clothes. They were casual in their earth tones, greens and browns with a touch of red, but there was a bit of elegance to the way the shirt and pants clung to her body. She washed the most dramatic stage make-up from her face and tidied what remained so she looked ready to celebrate and not too overdone. The instant she stepped from the tent, she was bombarded by two women whose arms wound tightly around her.

Kaliska laughed and put her arms around both of them, too. “You were fantastic!” The brunette woman with a fit body despite her very prominent backside spoke first.

“Thanks, Luli.” Kaliska said.

“That was really depressing, Kali.” The ginger haired woman whose figure was extremely athletic with particularly muscular thighs had spoken though there was mirth in her voice.

“I’m glad you thought so, Mali. That was exactly for what we were going. We wanted to make everyone too depressed to enjoy the festival.” Her voice was rife with sarcasm, but her smile remained. Mali shoved her arm playfully, and they walked together, three shades – and Mali’s Bownyte, Kaliska’s Grimalkin, and Luminita’s Inklaw – moved ahead of them. Ionel, the Inklaw, was perched on one of the horns of Niran, the Bownyte. The three shades were as good of friends as the three women.

“Where are your mates and the kids?” Kaliska asked of her two best friends. They laughed.

“Julij left to go check out the tents that are selling things that are more technologically advanced than even last year’s stock. You know how he is.” The brunette said with a roll of her eyes. “Gavril is probably elsewhere with his spouse and Zhenya who he agreed to watch for a bit. His children are wandering around here somewhere, too. We’ll see them eventually.”

“Kiet went with Julij, but he’ll probably end up wandering toward the bar at some point. We heard some of them have made new creations, and he wants to learn a few tricks for his own trade, you know? I think Nomusa and Ataro are signing themselves up for the eating contest, and Virote, Sunan, and Pensri are probably watching the dancers still.” Mali replied, to which Niran added, “So let’s stop dallying here and hit the food stands. I’m starving!”

“Let’s go to Emille’s. I heard they’ve set up a tent, and I have been dying to try their food ever since they got that new cook.” Luli smiled excitedly at the prospect of their eating where she suggested. Truth be told, Kaliska had heard extremely good things about their food as of late, too, but she hadn’t had the time to really try them.

“I bet there’s a line of people who skipped you opening act, Kali, just waiting for some of that food.”

Mali was joking, but soon, the Grimalkin turned his head and spoke to her, “I’ll take that bet!”

“Oh no, you will not!” Exclaimed Kaliska. Though Shyam was normally her voice of reason, he had a soft spot for making small bets about little things, and half the time, he lost them. She didn’t want to have to pay any more money even on little gambles. “Just because you can’t imagine that anyone would choose to wait in a boring line for food over watching our entertainment does not mean that people didn’t do it. I’m sure Mali’s right even if it is a depressing thought.”

The other two women and the other two shades laughed with amusement.


Mali had indeed been correct. The six of them had to wait a little over half an hour to get their food, and the line was only growing. They were all glad that Luminita had suggested the place right away rather than waiting even ten more minutes. Eventually, they were able to eat their meals happily together before moving through the crowds once more.

There was always a great turn out to this particular annual event, and the three women – who looked much younger than they actually were – always met up with one another to spend time apart from their families. Well, Luli and Mali spent time away from their families for some friend-time. The only family Kaliska really had left was her grandmother, and they’d made plans to see each other a little later.

They enjoyed themselves for a time before the families of Kali’s best friends began to find them after the fireworks show. They are seemed to know just where to gather, too. Luminita’s husband, Julij approached with an oddly young Caligoan on his shoulders and two Bownytes trailing beside him. The girl was just a child, no more than six years of age. “Oh, Zhenya!” Luli exclaimed happily as the little girl cried out, “Mommy!” She took the child in her arms and hugged her tightly. “Have you seen Gavril?”

“Not yet. I thought I glimpsed Nina in the crowd, but I’m not sure. It’s so crowded.”

It wasn’t long before Zhenya was reaching her arms toward Kaliska. “I want Aunty Kali!” With a laugh, Kaliska gently gripped the little girl under her arms and spun her around to the child’s delight. She was Zhenya’s godmother though it likely would never come to mean much. She was content enough with being “Aunty.” All around her, Luminita and Mali had had children, and Kali had been stuck without them.

When she’d been younger, it hadn’t been a big deal. She hadn’t even liked kids. It seemed so much different after she discovered she couldn’t bear children. She’d been allowed to help with her friends’ children, but it wasn’t quite the same. She’d never adopted any kids, either. There were some children who had been orphaned during the Outsiders War, but it hadn’t taken long for them to be snatched up by other parents who wanted children or had lost their blood relations. It was probably for the best, or perhaps it was a sign – so she rationalized to herself.

Mali’s children were all grown though her youngest had only just reached the point where he’d stopped aging. Speaking of her children, the oldest – fraternal twins, Nomusa and Ataro – approached the group with their Grimalkin companions. Their slender bodies seemed slightly bloated and their movements were slow. “You have pie on your faces.” Mali laughed. They merely grunted at her, and their moods seemed a little surly. Luli handed them some napkins from her purse. They wiped at their dark faces a little too harshly.

“I take it you didn’t win?” Kaliska asked them, receiving only a discontented grunt from the male twin. The girl, Nomusa, glared at him. “No. That fat guy, Grog or whatever, totally got us by one slice. It was awful.”

“I hope his stomach explodes.” Ataro growled.

“Well, there’s always next year! You’ll just have to practice! I know you can do it!” Luminita said this encouragingly only to receive scathing looks from the twins. “You said that last year.” Ataro grumbled.

“And the year before that.” Nomusa added.

Luli flushed, and Kaliska came to her defense. “Well, if you two would actually work on improving yourselves for one event and stop deciding at the last minute to go for a different challenge, she probably would have to say it every year.” Last year, they’d tried winning a race, and the year before that, it had been a riddle contest.


They stood around, chatting for a bit, more of the kids – who were normally well into adulthood – came and went, and some grandchildren also came and went. Eventually, the three girls separated to go their own ways, and Kaliska and Shyam met up with her grandmother and her Inklaw near where she’d danced the opening act.

They hugged and greeted one another joyfully. Any Drifter would have thought the two humanoids could be a couple of friends who were near one another’s ages rather than grandmother and granddaughter. Kaliska looked nothing like Penina who was short with a round face and mocha coloured hair. It was a stark contrast to the fair colouring and average height of younger woman. However, as a Caligoan, this was nothing out of the ordinary.

Shyam, in his monster form, took a flying leap into the other woman’s arms, but when she caught him, he was only a small feline once more, small enough to be carried. Meanwhile, Penina’s Inklaw companion – Masina – had done almost exactly the same thing, swooping at the younger of the two women as a much larger creature than when it landed upon her shoulder. It was customary for the two shades to do such a thing each time they met.

They spoke and walked around the festival for a bit, catching up on the events that had occurred in the time they’d been apart. Though they lived in the same city, they didn’t see each other as often as they’d have liked. Their careers got in the way – Penina working as a healer and Kaliska as an archivist – but they were content so long as they saw each other a few times a month.

When they finally decided to attend the highly anticipated concert that was soon to begin, it was only to discover the place was so packed that the two women had to scrunch themselves at the very back of the crowd. They were so near the forest they could almost lean against the trees. The view would be terrible, but hopefully the hover screens would fly near them on occasion to give them a better glimpse of the band and the act. At least they wouldn’t have any difficulties hearing it.

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Re: Caligo: Days to Come

Post by Blade Barrier on Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:53 pm

The firework display would occasionally illuminate a tree standing in the forest. Within its branches sat a young man, His back pressed firm against the tree’s mossy bark. This Caligonian was different like most of his kin, but he was even considered an oddity amongst his own kind. Most normal people would say this man looked to be in his late twenties, and they would be right. His navy blue suit use to belong to a member of the much-despised blue trinity, and as a result, also bared many scars. It was covered in patchwork of various colors, and just barely resembled on of their uniforms. The beret that rested on the man’s head was probably the biggest perpetrator for his frequent identity crisis. Even with all the patchwork, his silhouette would send shivers up a Caligonian’s spine. The man’s long brown hair cascaded over the tree’s trunk, and his inklaw stood on its owner’s knee, cleaning her feathers. Together they watched the fireworks explode.

“Today wasn’t too bad.” The man said, spinning a dagger in his hand. His voice wasn’t particularly deep, but it wasn’t quite appropriate for his slender, feminine frame.

”Are you serious?” The little bird adjusted its position, now looking the man in the eyes. “Shayden, You didn’t catch a damn thing. Not even a bug!”

A grin crept across his face, but it remained concealed in the shade of the branches.

“I got to see the sun today, Mercury.”

”Pffft!” The bird flapped its wing in disgust. “You mean that yellow ball in the picture you have taped to the inside of your hat? How do you know that isn’t just a really weird flashlight or some glare on that primitive camera that person used to take that picture? You’re too gullible! How do you know that scientist was telling the truth anyway?”

”This is the hundredth time we’ve had this talk. Let’s just skip to the end where we agree to disagree.”

“Yea, whatever!”

The inklaw huffed and turned away from Shayden. It probably seemed weird that people who lived around such marvelous technology would never get to see the sun, but it was true. The heavy fog and clouds prevented anyone on the island from looking at the sky. There is an old tale of a man who tried to burn a hole through the clouds, and was spotted by an outsider who immediately fired on the Caligonian and killed him. Fear can be such a powerful tool.

”Oh, and aren’t you suppose to be somewhere?”

”Yea…” Shayden Nodded, starting to get up. “I’m suppose to be at the festival soon. Guess I’d better…”

”HOLD ON A SEC BUD!!”

Despite her manageable size, Mercury hopped into Shayden’s chest with enough force to bring him back down to his sitting position.

”We’re going to a festival that’s about celebrating our victory over the Blue Trinity. You are NOT going to walk in their dressed like that!”

Shayden took a look at his garbs and sighed.

”I guess you’re right. Wouldn’t wanna insight anything.”

”Shall I time brand you?” The raven spread out its wings. “It’ll make this a lot faster!”

”No thanks, I still have time.”

”Suit yourself…”

The hunter sheathed his daggers and shouldered his satchel before preparing to move to the ground. He knew that there was no branches on the way down, so he just bear hugged the tree and allowed himself to slide to the bottom. The moss made his decent fairly quick, and the vines growing over the tree gave him enough control for an easy landing. After releasing the tree, he noticed a large patch of dirt in the middle of the forest.

”Is this what I think it is?” Shayden asked.

”It appears to be an old crash site.” Mercury began. “A plane must have come inland and crashed here. The engine pan was probably split open, and it leaked oil all over the ground, preventing anything from growing there. Heh, quite unusual to spot something like this so far inland though.”

“No, I mean…”

Back when Shayden was part of the military, he was stationed near the shoreline to watch for any Blue Trinity agents. Those were the days he wore normal Caligo clothing, and he had a laser pistol strapped to his hip instead of two ka-bars. He did however still have a very thin frame, thin enough that it might belong to a woman. And although his facial features defined him as a man, he did have long, lush hair, and spent about as much time preparing it as a woman would. To be fair, he may actually spend a little more time than that. He was so innocent and naïve to the ruthless ways of men back in those days. He thought as long as he had an eye on the open water, he could spot an incoming ship. But the ship fleet hadn’t come in on his beach, and an agent was able to easily sneak out of the forest and ambush him. A hand went over his mouth while another one pulled his pistol out of his holster and pressed it against the back of his head. The next thing he knew, his head was wrenched over and forced to look at a dead crow.

Mercury burst into laughter.

“This part cracks me up every time, didn’t that dumb shmuck know that shades dissipate into smoke when they die?”

”Apparently not.” Shayden clearly didn’t find the memories humorous. “He told me that if I expected to live, I’d have to do everything he said. So he walked me over here and tossed me into this dirt patch. Then he asked me to turn around, and when I did, he was frozen with shock. He wasn’t expecting to be greeted by a man. While he was stunned, I was able to kick his legs out from under him and retrieve my gun. It was just a matter of pulling the trigger after that. Then you returned from your scavenging trip.

Mercury’s wild laughter became a steady chuckle.

“I just don’t get it. You could have turned that around on him so fast at any time. Why wait for him to throw you into the dirt?”

Shayden sighed and started to walk towards his cave.

“I guess I wanted to understand him a bit better. Him and Blue Trinity.”

“And do you?”

Shayden knew Mercury typically never showed interest in his words, but if there was an opportunity for a crude joke or irritation, she’d wait patiently for her opportunity.

“I think so.”

The Inklaw’s eyes came to half-mast.

“Way to be a buzz kill, Shayden.”



After their short stop, the duo made their way to the shoreline. This particular aria was home to a most vicious battle, one that transpired about ten years ago. Ignes Sacer is what the Calagonians remember the battle as. It was the turning point in that war. There was a huge ship armada parked right here, and a furious skirmish took place that just lasted a few hours. At one point during the battle, a battleship’s side was torn open by explosives, and all the fuel and oil it was carrying would spill out into the ocean around the surrounding ships. The concoction was set ablaze, and every ship sunk. However, the shallow waters managed to hold up most of the ships. Even part of the battle ship still remains in the present. This graveyard of ships is a permanent reminder to the people of Calio of their triumph over the Blue Trinity.

“That was an interesting battle.” Shayden stopped to look at the vessels. The ships looked totally alien compared to anything else on the island.

“Let me guess, you were all friendly with the Blue trinity here.”

“Yes…”

After Shayden killed the Blue Trinity agent that almost abducted him, he put on his clothes and tried to find where they had landed. It was surprisingly easy to fit in with their numbers. They didn’t know each other very well, and nobody really liked the guy he had killed. He learned a lot about the outside world during those days.

“Heh, you even had me hang back. Good thing too, because the surprise attack that was opened up on those guys would have killed me. That’s about the time you left the military too isn’t it? Not that there was much war left to fight after this.”

Shayden just walked into his home, which appeared to be a large hatch on the cliff side.

”Hey! I’m talking to you!”



Despite the humble looking exterior of Shayden’ home, the interior was anything but. The walls, ceiling, and floor showed no trace of the cliff’s bedrock. Aside from the lack of windows, it was impossible to tell the home was actually built into a Cliffside. The overhead lights illuminated Shayden’s entire collection of animal pelts and offshore treasures. There was a door further back that lead to the rest of his home, but he didn’t need to go in there right now.

“Do you even have anything but those ugly garbs?”

“No...”

He said while removing his hat and shoving it into his satchel. Shayden didn’t have any reason to wear normal clothes. He hunted for his own food, had his own generator for electricity, and enjoyed his free time hunting for things foreign to Caligo. He didn’t have much reason to participate in society, and he never really felt lonely. Mercury was about all the company he could stand. But there was the rare occasion when he felt the need to participate in events like this.

“You’re going to be late!”

“I’m improvising! Give me a break will ya?”

After looking around for a few seconds, he whipped up a blanket and tossed it over his shoulders. It matched the color of his suit, and covered everything above his knees, save his face.

”Meh, you’re not going on a date, so it’s okay. You probably should buy some normal people clothes though.”

“Dully noted, let’s be off.”



At the festival, a young couple was having the time of their lives. They laughed and stumbled their way to one of the many exits, ready to go home and continue their romance in the comfort and seclusion of their own home.

”Wait a sec!” An older man yelled. It wasn’t hard to tell the age of one of Caligo’s natives. Although they didn’t usually age, the younger people tended to go with whatever the current clothing and hair trend was while the older people preferred to stick with a particular style they encountered in their youth.

“What is it old man?” The boy said, his irritation mostly brought on by his drinking rather than general unfriendliness.

“If you’re going to go into the woods, be warned that there’s a demon in there!”

”Oh yea?” The woman said, preparing to take another drink. She was so smashed, she didn’t notice the shoulder of her tank top was sliding down her arm.

”Er…”

The man snatched the drink away from her with little effort, then poured it onto the floor.

”Haven’t you heard of the Teal Devil? He, she, no! IT walks through the woods at night, tempting those around it with the guise of a beautiful woman. But should you trend too close to this vile creature, it will take its true form as an undead Blue Trinity agent!”

The couple hugged each other tightly and shivered as they listened. The shivering was more than likely from alcohol sickness.

“Nobody knows how many lives it has taken, but what I do know is that it hates this celebration with all its heart, and it will stop at nothing to exact vengeance upon the inhabitance of Caligo.”

“H-how do we stop it!?” The couple had sunken to their knees by this point.

”You can’t stop it… But for a small fee, I can provide you with garlic necklaces that are sure to ward off the Teal Devil and any other undead things looming about!”

Shayden walked past the individuals without engaging them. However, Mercury found what they were talking about very interesting.

“HA! So now you’re the Teal Devil? Only in his description you sound like some kind of killer instead of an antisocial…”

”Shut up!”

He dropped some money on a venders counter, and the vender handed him a large leg of meat. Shayden wasted no time in handing the meat to Mercury.

”Now THAT’S how you tell someone to shut up!”

Holding the leg with one of it’s talons, the raven left Shayden’s shoulder and perched on a wooden bench, balancing itself with one leg and using the other to hold the meat in front of her beak.

”MMMmmmm! Pig leg! Cooked to perfection, honey dipped, and covered in seasonings! Nom nom nom!”

Shayden wore a crooked smile as his shade hungrily devoured her treat.

”Now just wait around here, this shouldn’t take too long.”

With Mercury occupied, it would be easier for Shayden to do what he had originally come here for. The hunter hastened his steps towards the stage where Vapor was going to play, and soon saw row upon row of filled seats. Hundreds of little heads as far as the eye could see. Although this surprised him, it didn’t stop him from making his way down the isles between seats, though even those were starting to fill with people. After passing everyone, he circled around the stage and walked into a small booth, it’s walls were actually curtains.

”Looks like I’m close…”

Shayden quickly switched into his other outfit, one he had packed into his satchel earlier today. It was a simple outfit close in appearance to a real Caligo soldier’s uniform. After changing and stepping out of the booth, he came face to face with who could only be the event’s supervisor.

”You’re late” was how she greeted him.

”No, I’m right on time.”

”It doesn’t hurt to come a little early to an event this popular.”

Shayden just shrugged.

”My instrument set up?”

”Thankfully, yes.”

Shayden didn’t need this. Here he was donating his services to the public and the last thing he needed was more attitude from someone. He wasn’t even sure if he was going to stay for Vapor’s performance. Without as much as a thank you, Shayden made his way up backstage.

”Your welcome!”

The hunter rolled his eyes before moving through the curtain backdrop and appearing on stage. He then picked up the mic and held it to his mouth.

“Hello Caligo, How are ya?”

The greeting caused most of the crowd to roar. With so many shouts, it was hard to pick up on weather they were pleased to see someone on stage, or angered that Vapor wasn’t there yet. Regardless of what they thought, the shouts didn’t shake a fiber of Shayden’s being.

“Vapor’s going to be playing live for you all very shortly. However, the show is starting now. Let’s just kill some time while Vapor’s getting ready. Okay?”

The hunter positioned himself in front of a piano and placed the mic on a stand beside it. Shayden was just part of a local garage band that was called in to warm up the crowd for Vapor. He didn’t play with a band very often, but he usually found time to practice for special occasions.

”Alright, looks like the rest of us are here. We have really bad real names so we all go by bad alias instead. That’s Hog getting ready to mash out some notes on his bass, and that’s Miss Fortune with the guitar. I’m Shayden Blade, and although I usually play guitar as well, we’re playing some different songs tonight, ones that aren’t our usual style.”

He rested his hands on the keys. The tension in the air was starting to get to Shayden. Yet at the same time, he knew he played the least important performance tonight. Nobody would remember this performance.

“We’re Rapiemur, your local garage band, and now we’re going to play Ignes Sacer, a song we wrote about the event itself to honor the men and woman who gave their lives to protect Caligo and its people.”

Shayden started to play the soft, relaxing into to his masterpiece. It wasn’t long before the sound of guitar and bass melded with his song, as well as his own voice.
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Re: Caligo: Days to Come

Post by Bird of Hermes on Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:50 pm

Aether felt the familiar feathers in her grasp. Flying on Maelstrom was much easier than using even Caligo’s best technology. Of all the things man had made in the last two thousand years, nothing could compete with what the gods had given them. It was an important, if somewhat painful, thing to remember.

Bright lights danced below her through the fog and she smiled, a rare occurrence. From so high up, the festival looked like a star lit dream. The mists slowly dissipated as the Inklaw neared the ground and its wings arched as it lay its talons on the road. The festival was already in high gear and the music and chatter could be heard as they entered the site. Sights, sounds, smells – it was a carnival for the senses. Aether closed her eyes for a moment as she felt her Shade, now in its critter form, perched upon her shoulder.

“I told you that you would be glad I brought you here,” Maelstrom chattered with a gleam in his misty, glowing eyes. Aether simply nodded, the message clear to her age-old companion. Their communication had developed its own form like that over the years.

Aether and Maelstrom casually browsed from booth to booth. Everything was so beautifully laid out and the colors attracted her and her Shade’s attention. They had spent over an hour viewing the tents when Maelstrom suddenly dropped the fragile bag of candies he had been holding in his beak. Aether stopped and picked up the small bag. “Yes, Maelstrom?”

“We must hurry along or we’ll miss the concert,” the overexcited bird shrilled as he dragged her along. Aether could only roll her eyes and follow. Maelstrom’s fickleness never ceased to amaze her. Well, it didn’t look like she would be finding her half-brother or any of the other Outriders here tonight. They must all be out on patrol. Could those silly boys not take one night off?

Aether let her mind come back to her Shade. His complaints about the lousy seats they had gotten just skimmed her mind as she sat down near the back. She supposed the twins weren’t coming either. As she smirked at the irony of her being the most social of her relations, Aether watched as the concert began.
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Re: Caligo: Days to Come

Post by Fate Flyer on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:23 am

Unlike any music that could be found in the rest of the world, Vapor, the popular rock band on Caligo, was defined loosely as such. Though it mainly centered around an electric variation of a guitar, their music also combined contemporary electronica beats with some occasional overwhelming bass lines that could be best compared to dubstep and some industrial, metal-like jams. It all came together to produce the most recognizable sound many Caligoans could agree was the greatest of all time, both motivating and energizing. Tonight's performance was another testament to just how talented the musicians were, and the crowd gathered in Phasmoenia City's park for the Outsiders' War Reunion Festival was going wild.

"I'm going to grab us some water!" yelled Sophia Evers, Kyte's best friend who, along with their husbands and children (and grand children, and great grand children...) was standing near her in the back.

"What?" Kyte called back, unable to hear over the roaring crowd and the loud music. Despite the fact that most of the people who had gotten there in time to get seats were now all standing anyway, thus partially blocking the view of the band from certain vantage points, especially in the very back where they all were standing, Kyte still had a huge grin on her face, excited and thrilled to be watching the famous band live and for free.

"Nevermind," said Sophia with a dismissive shake of her head. She pulled on her husband, CSF Officer Gavin's arm, made a drinking gesture, and he understood. The two of them took off together, out of the crowd of people and towards a refreshment booth.

Kyte, the fiery redhead with an Inklaw perched on her shoulder, leaned in to her husband's shoulder, so content to be there together and having so much fun. Valin lay his head on hers affectionately for a moment and held her close around the waist. His Bownyte, Comet, was wagging his black tail fiercely, currently incorporeal so as to not take up any tight space that they had, allowing others to pass right through him. Their children, the twins Ayden and Ava, were grouped with their spouses and children nearby now, and though the war was still fresh in a lot of their memories, seeing as ten years really wasn't all that long ago for a Caligoan, this night was a wonderful way to come together as a people and give their support to one another, along with celebrating their victory. All-in-all, it just seemed like a perfect night.




It was shaping up to be a horrible night. Corbin Cove, the spiky blonde-haired young man who was Faust Altus' understudy, managed to find the much older man, though not before narrowly avoiding Caligo Security Force officers. It was only thanks to his Grimalkin, who had the ability to erase memories, that he was able to escape before getting handcuffed. Nervous to be in such a public place where who knows how many people now knew his face, Corbin was anything but at ease. It looked foreign on his normally deceivingly pleasant-looking face. All he wanted was to get out of there and find some place to hide. Forever.

Of course, he had much more important matters that needed his expertise that Faust, the square-shouldered, stern, military-looking man wasn't about to let him get out of. Not after he devoted so much of his own time in grooming the young man to help their cause in overthrowing the government.

Faust's Shade, a Grimalkin named Bane, kept both his eyes on Corbin at all times, circling the young man even when they were standing still, like a shark closing in on his prey. Of course, Faust himself had no intention of letting his pupil come to any harm. Quite the contrary. Taking him to a more secluded area outside the festival grounds near where the forest met the park, Faust began taking in hushed tones.

"We need to send a message tonight. It's what the Boss had planned." Faust had only hours ago spoken to the leader of the largest gang now on Caligo, Soulless and Shadeless, and though he was not pleased with Faust, nor Faust with him, he knew he had to fulfill his boss's scheme if he wanted to be taken seriously. No one knew the leader's name, not least of which Faust. And so, when speaking of him, he simply referred to him as 'the Boss.'

Corbin did nothing to hide the worry still lingering on his face. He had come so close to being discovered tonight. Did he really want to risk it again? He clearly had been shaken up. Sensing his hesitation, Faust put a hand on his shoulder -- for comfort? Or to give him courage? To show his support and belief in the young man? Corbin wasn't entirely sure, as he had a hard time reading his mentor, but he nodded anyway. "I know," the blonde man replied somberly. "I want to do this. I just hope it'll get through to all of them."

"It will," Faust assured him with certainty. As if to further instill confidence, he added even more softly, "We have Soulless and Shadeless operatives, along with shadow government agents stationed throughout the festival. They're going to help us pull this off. Before we leave here tonight, we'll be able to witness possibly the greatest attention-grabber to all those without Shades who have been forgotten, along with the often discriminated-against drifters, who age like Shadeless Caligoans. Once everyone sees the pain they're all really in and how our 'great' Chief Commander has turned their back on them, we'll have the upper hand. It'll start with planting the seed of uncertainty in everyone, and soon that will grow into distrust. Before anyone realizes it, Caligoans will be taking sides. You might think it bad that they'll be divided, but it's because of that that they will fight even harder, soon letting their drive take over and doing our job for us in trying to remove Kian Vond from office. That's when we strike, placing the Boss in command -- a leader who understands the needs of the Caligoan people, who will fight for the little guy and restore rights that have been taken away from our off-island guests. Everyone will be consumed with a new sense of unity, and while they're busy trying to restore their society, the Boss will continue working on ways of making contact with the outside world in order to spread his wisdom...and his power."

Though he had heard all this in varying amounts over time, having Faust lay it all out there for him now gave Corbin the renewed hope and sense of direction he needed. It all seemed so possible when Faust described it. Corbin did not question it any further. He simply nodded once and said, "I will go take my position then. You can count on me."




Vapor was on their seventh song now, and many people were even singing along. The show was going to wrap up soon, and then it would be on to the Shade ability demonstrations, which were normally quite a display. Kyte had been looking forward to it, as she always did, though she herself still had not had Voltaire, her Inklaw, participate in them yet. She considered it tonight though. Perhaps there were some lingering spirits of lost loved ones lost that Shade could communicate with and help to reunite with their family in order to ease their pain.

"Gavin and Sophia have been gone for awhile," Valin, Kyte's husband, noted when the song ended and the lead singer began talking briefly about what his next song was written about. "I think I'm going to go see if I can find them before the show ends. We want to see the Shades perform together, right?"

"Absolutely," Kyte replied with a smile. "Thank you, hon." She squeezed his hand before he turned and headed off in the direction their two friends had gone.

It was shortly after Valin left that Kyte noticed the eerie pickling on the back of her neck, like all her hairs had been standing up. Mirroring her sudden unease, Voltaire hopped around on her shoulder to do a 180 and face the opposite direction of the stage, now looking straight back into the wooded area that they were so near at the back of the crowd. He gazed into the forest with his glowing white eyes for many long moments, sure he would see someone or something, or at least perhaps a ghost (which was his natural ability).

"Nothing?" Kyte asked, knowing full well he was checking for them both.

"No," he answered shortly, but without any real conviction. "I think we're being watched."

Kyte now turned around, forcing Voltaire to hop back to facing her direction in order to keep looking into the thick tree line. "Why do you say that?" she asked with growing anxiety.

"I always get that feeling whenever a spirit is nearby. It lets me know when I'm close to them. It's like a sixth sense..."

Peering even harder, Kyte still noticed nothing unusual, until a slight movement caught her eye. It happened so quickly, she couldn't be sure it was anything, but it was the color that most stood out to her -- an unnatural blue. It was gone now, hidden by the shrubbery and branches, but she became sure she had seen a bright blue fall behind cover. What could that have been? Had anyone else noticed? Was she simply imagining things from the bit of alcohol earlier?

"I'm curious now," Kyte said with that air of stubbornness that sometimes presented itself whenever she wanted something. "If I don't go look, it's going to bug me."

"And therefore," the black bird concluded, "it's going to ruin my night as well. You better get on with it then before Valin gets back. I don't want us both looking like crazies!"

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Re: Caligo: Days to Come

Post by Gadreille on Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:30 pm

As the music started, the crowd grew more wild, and trying to find a good place to view it was nigh impossible. As Brenna weaved through the crowd, Imstad stayed close behind, but she sensed a discomfort within him. Rather, Gabriel sensed it. With words only she could hear, Gabriel warned Brenna:

"Imstad isn't used to crowds. He is tense beyond imagination. I don't know where he came from, but he's used to being alone."

Brenna glanced at Allie, who had worry painted on her face as plain as a bownyte's face could be read. She then glanced at Imstad. Or at least, she tried to, when she was accidentally elbowed in the face. She grabbed her head and pushed back a bit, to which the kid who hit her shrugged an apology, and that was when she saw it. Imstad had shown no visible signs of discomfort, none but the worry of his own shade. But when she got shoved around, she saw a flash of anger in his eyes. It went away as fast as it had come. It seemed she wasn't the only one good at masking emotion...and he did not even have a shade to help with it!

"Gabriel...give him a gentle touch. Nothing too much, mind you, wouldn't want him to notice. Just take the edge off until I can get him out of here."

Gabriel nodded, and flew back, perching himself on Imstad's shoulder. "Brenna isn't caring much for the crowds, she'd like to head to the back and go back to the festival grounds, if you don't mind." As Gabriel spoke to Imstad, he used his power to relieve some of the anxiety that only he, and of course Allie, knew was within Imstad.

Allie cocked her head to the side as she felt Imstad relax. Curious, she thought to herself.

Eventually, they broke through the crowd near the treeline. Brenna looked back and tried to get a view of the band from where she stood. She wasn't the tallest individual, and she could barely make out the colors of the lightshow in the distance peeking between the heads of the massive crowd ahead of her. The crowd was excited, the tone of the evening a happy one. She smiled at the thought. If she couldn't really be a part of it, she could at least appreciate that many caligoans could and would enjoy the evening in all of its splendors.

"Let's take a walk," She said to Imstad, who merely nodded and stepped up beside her rather than following behind, as he had been. "So sorry for the concert idea...apparently I wasn't the only one interested!" She said with a laugh.

Imstad smiled, but said nothing. Apparently he wasn't one for conversation, and she realized that most of the time it was only Allie who was speaking. Still, she felt as though she should try to have conversation with him. If nothing else than to figure out who in the world he was.

“So, what do you do, Imstad?” Brenna noticed Allie’s ears perking up, but she didn’t say anything. She wondered if they were having a private conversation between the two.

“I was…in weapons manufacturing, for a time.” He finally said, each word uttered with careful deliberation.

“For a time? What do you do now?” Brenna asked again, noticing visible discomfort growing in his face. She half thought to let Gabriel use his power on him again, but somehow that felt wrong, like she was digging out information against his will. Wouldn’t ever want to do that again, she thought bitterly.

“I…mostly reconnoiter the island.”

“Oh! I’ve enjoyed a good survey or two in my time,” she said, hoping that some common ground would help break the ice. “I once was looking for –“

Imstad held up his hand and said “Quiet.” He didn’t shout, didn’t move, seemingly didn’t breathe.

“What –“

“Shh. I saw something.”

Brenna peered into the darkness. She didn’t see anything, but the back of her neck tingled in warning. Something was out there….but what?
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Re: Caligo: Days to Come

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