Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    Summertime Blues

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    Mortis
    Petabyte

    Petabyte

    Posts : 893
    Join date : 2014-03-22
    Location : Deadworld
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Summertime Blues

    Post by Mortis on Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:01 pm

    Time: 11:00 PM
    Date: June 29, 0007

    Summer had come into full swing where Mortis resided, even when the sun was not shining down upon his farm and heating the acres of land like a nuclear oven, the animals that resided could still feel the heat.

    Or more, one animal could feel the heat.

    Following a recent spread of rainless days, the ghoul had gone out and purchased a simple pool for Woolie to soak in during the heat of the afternoon. A small, plastic thing; the long box it was in illustrated a number of children playing in it, dressed appropriately for a shallow swim. Printed along the bright blue sides, smiling, colorful cartoons of fish swam playfully in ranges of yellows to oranges, reds and greens. While the lamb may not giggle or flail about in the water, she enjoyed jumping into it once Mortis had filled it with water from the hose. Each time, she was wearing her bright blue shark-finned life-vest, not that she needed it in the shallow pool, but she demanded it herself before stepping foot into any body of water that was not a puddle out in the meadow or a wash in the bathtub. Otherwise she absolutely refused to stick a single cloven hoof in.

    That weekend out at the bay had left its imprints, Mortis supposed. Not that the ghoul complained, the vest was adorable on her, and the fact she grew fussy about not having it on when she was swimming was a blessing. At least until Angemort had decided she wanted to join the lamb, and tried to soak in the shallow kiddie pool with Woolie. The mare was so large her deep, barreled chest could barely fit a quarter of itself in, and what water was not forced out over the rim in a miniature tsunami quickly began to turn a nasty brown and putrefy.

    Needless to say, a stern talking to was in order, as was a thorough wash of Woolie’s favored swimming vest, and an equally thorough wash of Woolie.

    Bath aside, however, the lamb was amused by the attempt from her playmate. The moment her Ma was finished toweling her dry, she raced back outside again and happily rejoined her companion. Both of them waited in the shade of the tree as Mortis unbent the dents from the edge of the pool and rinsed it out, before filling it again while he waited for the life vest to finish its drying cycle.

    If only he could be so simple, the ghoul pondered. With night setting in, Woolie was sent to bed, and the horses remained outside to keep an eye on the property. Neither of them could know a restful sleep like the ewe could, although even if the ghoul were human again, he doubted he could sleep well knowing what he knew. So, he remained sitting on the front porch in his rocking chair, a bottle of vodka sitting cold and crisp on the old, stained table next to him.  Behind the reclining undead, Mortis had decided to keep the front door open, allowing a cool, fresh breeze to pass through the house via the screen and out the kitchen window that he had slid open. There was only him, and his thoughts as he recalled the events of the past few days.

    It began with a trip to the city…



    Clip, clip, clip, clip!

    Woolie’s little black hooves were a flurry upon the sidewalk as she kept up with her Ma. Her green walking harness and equally green leash were fixed to her, along with a couple of reflectors that were clipped to the sides of her harness. Every so often she glanced up at her towering parent, whose gaze remained fixed ahead as they made their way down the one of the lanes of the recreational district. Today the ghoul was on his way to the library, a thirst for knowledge clamoring at the very essence of his being!

    …Or more a few niggling questions regarding a certain recreational weed had a chance to be squelched by hard, solid knowledge. Especially on a day that looked as if it threatened to rain.

    As they came to pause at an intersection, the ghoul’s fixation managed to grow distracted, his empty sockets glancing around the area as he waited for the light to turn. Say, this was the street Lunette’s tavern was at, was it not? The last he remembered seeing of the fluffy lady was long ago, back in the early days of March when he had just seized Woolie from winter’s biting chill. He had been so preoccupied in raising the lamb and keeping track of his home, the ghoul had hardly realized that nearly four months had passed since he had seen or heard anything of her. A low hiss slithered from his teeth as he recalled… She had been moving her establishment out into the woods, had she not? Yes, he remembered her saying something about being in the middle of moving.  He had managed to keep up well enough with Kev and his brother, along with Livewire somewhat, but the Anitra lady and her long-eared friend remained a mystery. Both of them had been completely silent for a long, long while. He could not help but wonder how far along she was, or if the tavern was still there. The ghoul turned the corner, starting to walk down the street.

    Woolie, naturally, was a little confused by the change of direction. She glanced between the towering superfiend and back to the intersection that was steadily fading into the distance, the bustling crowd washing in like a tide to cover their tracks.

    Where are we going, Ma?

    ”To sssee sssomeone I know. We ssshall not be sstaying overlong.” Mortis hissed in reply. There would be plenty of time to read up on the finer details of the exotic Canabis plant after a small stop to chat. They passed by a few restaurants, a club or two, and finally ended up where the tavern was. Or rather, where it should be. The Moonshine Tavern, its aromas and welcoming atmosphere, simply ceased to be.  For a few moments Mortis stood there, looking at the building that took its place. Of course, the first thought would be to assume that Lunette and Veskur had succeeded in moving, and likely were now residing happily somewhere in the woods, complete with accepting patrons of all walks and flavors from the surrounding wilderness. But, being the adept psychic that Mortis was, something about this vacancy felt… Off.

    Unnatural.

    His grip tightened upon the leash and his skeletal tail flicked beneath the cover of this dark trench coat. Being a lawful soul, a retired Judge, Mortis’ more judicial, analytical instincts kicked in. Perhaps a scan would not hurt, he thought to himself.  Both Lunette and Veskur were wise enough to keep out of trouble most of the time, he reasoned, but given the circumstances… It was best to check a little further. For peace of mind, mostly. He turned his snout down towards Woolie, skeletal jaws clacking as he gave an instruction. ”Ssssit, Woolie. I must check sssomething.” he hissed, before turning his attention back towards the lot.

    The black lamb did as asked, plopping her fluffy rear on the cement and watching her Ma with curious eyes. She thought they would be meeting someone Ma knew, but she did not see anyone come up to him, and Ma did not pick up on anyone who passed by. And now she needed to check something… She turned her head to look back in the direction of the intersection, how many more things would Ma come up with to do before they went to visit the library?

    Mortis focused where he stood, a deep meditation induced. It took effort with all the hustle and bustle if city life around them, the noise of afternoon traffic and chattering pedestrians grating upon his otherworldly senses. However, an adept Psi Mortis was, and soon, he took a glimpse into the most recent events of where the Moonshine Tavern once stood. What he saw was odd. Mortis witnessed the two packing up as Lunette had told him back in March, possessions placed into boxes and readied to be shipped to the new location. Lunnette and Veskur hard at work ensuring they were all prepared to move to the new location, still wearing their winter clothes.  That of course, was not the oddity of his reading.

    What was odd was that he saw nothing occur after. It ended as quickly as it started, but without a definitive act of closure.

    ”….Sssss.” His skeletal chin came to be held between a clawed forefinger and thumb. The former stroked over the bone pensively. Something happened here, he considered. It could be blamed of course upon the loud noise of the city, the honking of car horns as they grew impatient waiting for the lunch rush to move. It could have been the pedestrians walking around behind him, chattering both verbally and mentally without end. Perhaps the sheer amount of life that existed around him was too much of a distraction. But, the ghoul knew that could not be the case. It did not feel like he had lost focus or grew distracted, and therein dropped the connection with his reading. No, it merely ended, like a reel of film that had reached the end of its vinyl tape and sputtered uselessly upon the wheel.

    ”Woolie, I fear we may have to cancel our trip to the library today.” Mortis hissed to the lamb, who had been staring up at him the whole time. Apparently going into the deeply focused state that he required to see what he did was a little too strange for her, from what her thoughts could tell. In the same instant Mortis called for Samhain, beckoning across the psychic void, he was going to need her speed.


    Mortis plucked up the vodka bottle from where it sat percolating on the table, a wet ring traced itself where the bottle once sat, beads of icy water slowly soaking into the parts of the tabletop where the wood had grown bald of paint. Empty, dark sockets contemplated the contents for a brief moment, and then he tipped the bottle back into his parted jaws.

    The silently chastised himself as the bottle quickly drained, he should have known better. He should have figured out the answer sooner. After all, the pieces were laid out in place as clearly as could be, and yet it still took him this long to put them in order… Perhaps it was that he did not wish to see them, it was a common case with many minds, albeit more among the sinful populace. Ah, but that would be hypocritical, to say that, for even he had his bouts with doubt and denial.

    With a hollow thud, the bottle was placed back upon its damp ring, the clear liquor within drained to only a quick swallow. Long green fingers uncurled from the glass, the moisture clinging to his leathery skin. Creaks and crackles erupted from his limbs as they came to cross lightly over his chest, a hollow sigh emanating from an equally empty ribcage.

    Even so, it still left him wondering… Why?

    Despite his best attempts to track the duo down, the outcome was still the same crushing answer…



    Heavy footfalls thudded upon soft soil, an earlier rainfall churning the grassy earth into a lush sea of green. The wild grasses grew thick and long, many of them resembling emerald heads of wheat as they went to seed. By now it was well past the afternoon and into the evening, the sun hanging low enough in the sky it looked as if it could be plucked out from the heavens if Mortis only took the initiative to reach.
    But, their reason for being this deep in the wilderness, out beyond the farms to the untamed hillocks and knolls where wild flowers grew thick and herbaceous growths ran rampant across the uninterrupted meadow was for a matter of grave importance.

    Oh, how he wished that thought could have merely been a poor pun and nothing more.

    ”Keep an eye on the sssky while I focusss, Sssamhain.” Mortis hissed to his steed, before looking out over the shifting expanse of green, which undulated with every passing breeze that decided to give it a playful rustle.  Out here, distractions were minimal, the world as quiet as could be compared to the liveliness of the city. The grasslands were tranquil, a boon to any who sought focus and a clear mind. Admittedly, this place was second pickings to the shifting sands of the nearby desert, but the ghoul did not much favor being circled and dived upon by buzzards who thought him to be a walking buffet.

    Commencing psychic telemetry in itself was not a chore to do regardless of whether the area was inhabited or not, but the added quiet aided in settling his own thoughts. However, simply because something was possible did not make it swift. Mortis’ reach stretched itself across the grasslands, passing over every fluttering bird and skittering insect. It carried like a breeze out into the forest, the numerous lives that lingered within the maze of dense branches glittering like stars to his ethereal senses. Yet, their thoughts… Their thoughts were all of lower life forms, or they were unfamiliar. There was no contemplation of a tavern like Lunette and Veskur would run, or any pondering upon either of their persons. From end to end of the miles of forest, there was no sign of them, or that they had even visited the forest to begin with recently.

    Strange, very strange… But above all, worrying. It was steadily becoming an effort to keep focused and not linger upon the growing dread which insisted on digging itself into the back of his mind and clawed at where his gut would have been.

    Mortis reached further, out towards the mountains. He remembered how Lunette had spoken of a cabin there. Perhaps they changed their plans? He searched, his telemetry scanning every life form from billy goat to mountain lion, every creeping thing under every rock, every hermit and hick who thought to make the peaks their home. Yet, there were no cabins that belonged to anyone fitting Lunette and Veskur’s description. Once again, he found not a trace of their unique thoughts, not even a whiff of a budding migraine like the rabbit man tended to have.

    His dread was starting to bite into him in full, all the places that he knew they could be were searched and found empty. Where else could they be, his thoughts whispered, if not at the cabin –which no longer exists-, the forest –which held no trace of them, or the city –where their home was nowhere to be found? Maybe they merely went somewhere else, had a sudden change of plans?

    That does not sound like the mark of a sensible business woman, to suddenly switch locations mid-move, much less right after moving to a new, supposedly favorable locale; His sense chided.

    Regardless, Mortis expanded his search. He sloughed through the teeming minds of the icelands, down into the depths of the oceans, blew back down to the swamps and further, until his energy began to exhaust near the edge of the jungles. Yet each search ended on the same note.

    Nothing.

    Nothing, nothing, and more nothing.

    A hiss rattled from the undead like hot steam from a pressurized pipe. He had searched every inch of this accursed world, as far as he could manage without overexerting himself. The rabbit and cat may as well have been ghosts, spirited away overnight by an unseen and unknown will.

    A shiver ran up the spine of his host at the thought, Yet… It may as well be true; they were not the type to simply leave completely without a word.

    …Were they?

    Around both horse and master, the wind softly blew, no offer of an answer or insight to be gained as it brushed across the long grass.


    ”Sssss…”

    Mortis looked out across the road, to where the aging ruin of his late neighbor’s home sat, slowly rotting away with every year. It had yet to slump or slouch like his home had done before he had it rebuilt, but in time it too would start to wither until it finally collapsed in on itself. Just like the many other empty homes that lined the length of this lonely country road.

    In a way it reminded him all too well of his own experiences upon this accursed rock. His own nature, decay, grew ever more prevalent the longer he remained. His touch could rot flesh from bone, and bone to dust… But he had proven to himself that he could also decay without ever needing to lay a finger upon a person, dead or alive. His thoughts turned to the first one that had been sickened by him, becoming ill from his choices.

    Mortisss,  Mortisss, what isss the meaning of thisss fog? What did you do out there? What have you done?
    I have done what wasss necessary for the sssake of our duty, Fear.  I had told you before my leave, Fear. The purpose of my reclussion wasss for the sssake of becoming more ssstable.  There isss no need for worry, Fear. I am perfectly fit for duty now.  All I did wasss remove what would get in the way of our plansss.
    …You have done what wasssss necesssssary for yoursssself.  You ran from your emotionsss, unable to face me - your very own brother. You are a coward, Mortissss, and forever ssshall I hold thisss true ssso long assss you continue to hide behind your icy prissson. It wassss not duty that compelled you to flee my gaze; it wasss fear. You are no better than the witch-girl and her jealousssy.

    Fear had been the first to be harmed by his foolishness, his inability to reign in his desires and emotions in a healthier manner, unable to face his brother with feelings that were decidedly against their old doctrine, against laws and statutes that were upheld for centuries before coming here. His brother had been correct; it was fear that drove him to wipe his memories, to butcher his psyche to the point where it took all of Fear’s power to bring him back.

    It took all of his energy… And robbed both the sheep-skulled ghoul and Kev of the one they held dear for five long, painful days.

    Not long after, Lunette and Veskur had fallen victim to Mortis’ icy aura. A loving lady reduced to self loathing and despair after her friend had been taken by the corrupting nature of the undead’s presence. Mortis sighed as he looked out past the edifice, out to something that perhaps he could only see. Laughter and talking in the Sanctuary, the first time he felt genuinely comfortable being close to someone… And it ended with a harsh truth. At heart, he was an evil entity, undeserving of such compassion and generosity. After all, if he had been a good person, would he not have realized something seemed awry with the purple rabbit man sooner? Would he not have taken the proper precautions to ensure such tragedy would not come to pass? When Veskur inevitably died of his burden, would the ghoul have not noticed something amiss with not only his brother, but with Lunette while he was out there, wandering the wilds, and promptly returned to offer support?

    The answer to the above of course, would have been yes. But, he had not. He had done nothing but bask in the attention and distracted himself from reality. Certainly, when he found Lunette once again, he gave his deepest apology… But what good was it?

    The superfiend was no fool, Lunette had been suffering, but the undead had once again decided it best that he stayed out of her affairs, that he was not worthy of anything more than being a friend, perhaps even a mere acquaintance. He had decided her place was with Veskur, the one who had been looking out for her since he arrived. It seemed right to him at the time, after all, how could he be there for her after he had done so much to hurt her, and possibly could harm the lady again inadvertently? Mortis was a risky creature, that he knew, his touch withered flesh, stone, metal, any and everything that could decaydid decay. His aura corrupted the mind and made the living grow sickly, ill. It stuck to his surroundings like a malignant stain, and only grew worse the longer he remained. How long would it be before the amount of malignant energies grew too copious, how long before another wraith came to be, or perhaps something worse, emerged from the psychic residue he left behind?

    It was far safer for the both of them if he kept his distance, until his brother was ready to seal away his aura forever. Then, when Mortis joined him, perhaps then he would deem himself safe.

    But knowing what he did, the ghoul could not help but wonder…  Could the distance have merely made things worse? Mortis’ skeletal snout tilted down, pointing to his feet as he pondered further. While he knew little behind how Lunette and Veskur came to disappear, he could not help but have this sensation that it was his fault. That he decided it best to raise Woolie on his own instead of keep Lunette away from her work, that he did not visit them more often because he did not wish to interrupt their move.

    Oh, but could that truly be the reason, mere consideration alone? His thoughts returned to what Fear had told him across their mental link during that fateful August evening. He may have not wished to get in the way of the two Anitra denizens, but even so there was always an undercurrent of fear. He was too fearful to allow her to help, and though he had offered to aid her in his own way –albeit through physical labor, but after all that happened, he thought himself of not much worth other than that- she had deemed it best that she would ask him if she need his assistance. She never did, and after a while, he decided it best that she had come to such a conclusion. After all, aside from his strength, his power, what good was he?

    His aura would still end of sticking to something, and sooner or later, the same issue would arise as it had in the past winter.

    A forlorn sigh puffed from between his teeth, his fingers reaching and wrapping around the neck of the vodka bottle once again. In one swift swig, Mortis had drained the rest of the clear liquor, the burn as it went down his decayed throat a mere memory he coveted like a dragon with its treasure. With all that Lunette had suffered at his hands, all that Veskur had suffered, the superfiend’s sensation graduated from mere feeling to certain possibility. No one else had made them feel pain like he had, no one had ever done anything more than he had done. They were gone, and the only one to blame… Was Mortis, and Mortis alone.

    Just then, the ghoul was drawn from his melancholic thoughts, the sound of little hooves pattering across the carpet and stopping before the screen door.

    Baaa!

    Woolie had woken up from her sleep, evidently unable to find rest this evening. With no one else in the house, she had decided she wanted to spend the evening with her Ma until she grew sleepy again. Quickly, Mortis took the vodka bottle off the table and hid it behind the chair. She did not need to see him like this, drinking and nursing his woes. While sorrow sat heavily in his chest, the ghoul refused to let his adopted daughter catch on, and so put on a more appealing tone.

    The only wish he had of the lamb, was to see her happy and well.

    ”Woolie, dearessst. Are you having trouble sssleeping? Come, sssit with your Ma for a while.” He soothed, standing from his seat and opening the screen door for her. The black lamb came trotting out, her little nose wiggling as she came to stand next to her adoptive parent. The house smelled like the outside this evening, the break in the usual odor of incense making her curious. But, since her tall, corpse-like parent seemed to be fine, she decided nothing was truly amiss. As Mortis shut the screen door, mindful not to let it slam, he turned and gave Woolie a fond scratch between the ears. The moment he returned to his seat, she hopped up onto his lap and rested her precious face against his middle, eyes narrowing to squinty slits as the undead devoted his attention to her.




    Spoiler:

      Current date/time is Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:40 am