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      Vote for Valucre [June]   05/16/2017

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Lady Etude

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About Lady Etude

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  • Birthday July 9

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    Singing, Playing the piano, Drawing, Video Games, Music, Broadway

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  1. Fain hadn't said much else as Wirejaw confirmed they were searching for the same target. That was rather lucky wasn't it? Fortuitous...coincidental...serendipitous. 'Suspicious.' No. Not suspicious. If Wicket had wanted to off Fain, he'd do it himself. There was a 0% chance that Wirejaw was working for Wicket at this point in time. He shook his head slightly, refusing to let a frustrated sigh slip out of his lips. He was sore, a bit achy and knew that would only get worse when he sat down and let the bruises take form. Wirejaw's sudden halt had Fain freezing in his tracks. He turned his head slightly to look back at the man who seemed to be hacking up a dark fluid, oil? But then the larger man was straightening up like nothing happened and began moving again, Fain making sure to quickly look away. That didn't seem healthy and he was about to say as such before he was interrupted by Wirejaw's quiet voice. The comment surprised him, making him be rooted in place. His fingers began to clench up into fists before he forcibly relaxed them, stiffly turning to Wirejaw with a forcibly neutral expression. "If I may, stopping would...certainly not be in our best interest. Time is of the very essence right now, and a resting excursion could very well-" he cut himself off, wondering how to word this without seeming incredibly dismal. "The child you're searching for might not have that much time." he said boldly, knowing the man was searching for a kid even though he didn't specify it. "We have an advantage for time at the moment, but it will not remain that way." he tried to reason. Fain couldn't help but feel that Wirejaw would be of solid help on the excursion, but he would have to leave the man here if he thought it better to rest. Internally, Fain knew it would be wise to catch their breaths and rest off the incident, but he also knew that Wicket played on his own time. Fain needed to get there and get there as soon as possible. It's not safe alone, certainly but...Fain would go anyways. He couldn't waste anymore time.
  2. Richard simply clasped his gloved hands together, resting them on his desk as he stared at his employee. "I'm certain you would relish in that wouldn't you? Swooping in as a knight in shining bangles." he said lightly, but his cyan and ruby eyes remained stoic. "Are you aware that you work for me Valenstein? Me and me only? Do you perhaps think that I am fooled by your visits to my brother? Time that could be spent elsewhere, which translates into wasting my time and I'm certain you know by now that I do not like my time to be wasted." he says in the monotonous and yet airy tone of his, as if he can't be bothered to care. He unclasps his hands, pointing a finger sternly onto the desk. "You are very lucky that he is involved with the current case Cradle is investigating into, so your permission is granted. However, I expect you to understand you came close to making me question you today." Richard said blandly, leaning back in his chair. "That is all." he dismissed without care, giving a nonchalant wave of his hand to dismiss Valenstein. "Perhaps you mean some'one'" Fain mumbled derisively under this breath, not angry at Wirejaw but simply the situation. Fain's carriage crashed not too far from the site, it couldn't be that far away. A couple of miles? His legs nearly buckled at the thought of walking more than that now that all of his things were practically destroyed. This was so stupid and impulsive but time was of the essence! He shouldn't have to keep reminding himself of such a thing. This man talked a bit more than Fain was comfortable with, stopping in his tracks when Wirejaw asked him if he knew where he was going. He plucked out a bronze compass from his pocket, handing it to Wirejaw. "I have one. I know where I am going." he paused at the mentioned of 'menace'. Were they looking for the same person..? "Wirejaw, I am looking for someone. They are young, a child. There has been a series of murderers and...this person, they kidnap children and-" he trails off, unable to say it bluntly that Wicket murders them. Not Abbot. He wouldn't let that happen to Abbot. "Is this menace you are looking for perhaps one in the same?" he questioned, putting a hand up to his hair to try and smooth it out. Maybe he should just relax for a second, at least clean himself up. And yet at the same time, who was he trying to impress? He was on a hunt, he wasn't going to the ball!
  3. "You know I don't appreciate being interrupted without due warning Valenstein." rang the casual voice of Richard as Valenstein stepped inside to his office. Inside was dim, no lights on, just the natural light coming through the one big window in the back. Richard's grand silhouette blocked most of the light from the window, hands clasped behind his back as he turned around. "That tells me that something important must have happened hm? Perhaps something to do with my...little brother." he inquired with a light tone. For as useful as Valenstein was, and nicely as the man followed orders, and threw himself into his job.... Valenstein had too much sentiment. Fain always managed to muddle things up, even without knowing it. This, but of course, was no different. It was honestly...an exceptional issue however Valenstein didn't let such thing interfere with his work...or rather he hadn't..until now. He sighed, or rather exhaled a bit deeper through his nostrils, indicating a sort of known disappointment. "Go on then." he said with amiable acceptance, sitting down in his office chair that more resembled a throne... "Tell me what Fain has gotten into this time." Well, honestly what did he expect? Outside of Cradle, the wilds were not something to be trifled with. As he was flung from the carriage, Fain briefly cursed himself for his haste but at the same time he found himself still not regretting his decision. Time was so important right now, it was of the essence. A child's life hung in the balance after all. As he landed on the ground harshly, he felt the breath knocked out of his lungs. Luckily, it seemed he hadn't broken any bones during the fall, though his body and back ached something fierce and he knew his hands and knees had gotten scraped up. That was the least of his worries though as he rolled onto his back slowly, suddenly staring up at bright glowing yellow eyes. The tiger's growl reverberated throughout the woods with a rumble, and Fain desperately tried to reach for the knife in his pea coat pocket. Just as he managed to grab its handle, a massive paw swiped down through the air to rip him to shreds. Having tensed up, Fain didn't register what had happened until he heard the angry roars of a hungry best and the rough voice of a man. He snapped his eyes open, forcing himself to lift his head and upper body, leaning on his elbow as he watched the mystery man somehow take down a best twice his size. He managed to get onto his knees before there was silence, Fain starling as the man knelt down by him. He didn't believe for a moment the man's name was actually Wirejaw, but Fain nodded in gratitude nonetheless, trying to control the hammering of his heart. And try to get over the fact that he almost just died. "I'm...Fain. Thank you soundly for your assistance Sir Wirejaw." he breathed, voice a bit faint as he shakily held out his scraped hand. Manners should always be implemented regardless of the state of person. "And I am, seeking something." he said vaguely, swallowing down the fear and anxiety that was still pumping through his veins. This put quite the damper on things, but he wasn't concerned. He hadn't broken or sprained any bones, sure he was a bit shaky as he slowly got to his feet, but he could walk. It couldn't be far now, and if need be, he could just..call the authorities..or Valenstein. Maybe. "I apologize for my lack of polite gratitude, but I must on my way. I can-" he cut himself off, quickly patting down his red peacoat and procuring a small sack that held money and gems inside it, He took a couple of rare gems out, clutching the man's palm quickly and placing them in his palm before turning and making his way through the forest with trembling limbs but determined eyes.
  4. Fain found himself at a loss for words in the most infuriating kind of way, clenching his jaw in agitation at being cut off and then lectured. He paused, putting fingers to the bridge of his nose and pressing lightly. He was developing a headache. "I-" he tried but his words were immediately clipped by Valenstein. His anger simmered more at the question. If Fain himself was expected to stay inside and be safe all the time, why was it not also applicable to Valenstein? And here Fain had hoped the man would be touched by his concern. He could feel himself gritting his teeth, the anger only rising when he didn't get to say his piece. And when the time came that Valenstein 'did' ask what was going on, the man seemingly was whisked away into a lovely little distraction called panic. Vampire. His eyes slipped shut on their own accord, Fain feeling the vestiges of tired resignation hum through his body. Vampires. Why did it have to be vampires? Elder blood no less. And then he was hung up on. It took everything in his power not to just throw the phone on the ground and smash it with his heeled boot. He exhaled out of his nostrils trying to calm himself down. Assess: Based on the new information, would this change his course of destination? Summary: No. Well that was that then wasn't it? Vampire or not, time was of the essence. He had to get there as soon as possible, especially if Wicket had been trying to cover his tracks. Abbot might be-there could be a chance from the things that had happened just now, that Abbot's life might still be salvageable. Fain's knuckles turned white as he gripped the phone tightly in anger before wrenching it away from his face and back into his red coat pocket. 'Worthless all of them. This is the thanks you get for wanting to make sure he's safe. What a waste of time!' mentality hissed. A small bitter part of him agreed. A very small part. He trudged on.
  5. Ah right, what to say on the phone. "Valenstein." he started, opening his mouth and pausing. How would he approach this? Valenstein was prone to...worrying. "Hello." he blurted, closing his eyes immediately after in a grimace. 'What a smooth talker. You idiot.' Yes. "I'm not hurt. I just wished to call you." Fain started, trying to recover, hearing the man's worried voice. "I simply wanted to make sure you were not meddling around in things. And that you were safe." he said, stressing on the word safe, hoping Valenstein would get the hint that he should go home, preferably talk to Richard about his safety. "There is a criminal on the loose after all, it would not be wise to be running around...particularly since he is around. At large." he continued, internally cringing at the way he was talking. It needed to be done like this though. If Wicket somehow didn't know that Fain was on his way to the farm, then Fain didn't want to give anything away. Who knew what eyes were watching, what ears were listening. If anything this might upset the man as Valenstein told Fain first to not go looking around. But what the man didn't know wouldn't hurt him..or so Fain had hoped.
  6. The farm it was. There was unfortunately no way around this issue, he needed to get to the farm as soon as possible, it hadn't even been a day yet since Abbot was kidnapped. Surely...surely there was something. And yet, that was Wicket's voice. He knew where Fain was. He must have known Fain had found something, enough of a clue to be there. But did Wicket know what Fain had discovered? Did the gruesome man know Fain figured it out and was on his way? He shook his head, pushing open the flimsy door and pulling his red coat collar up close to him. He pulled out his phone, a small emotional need had taken a hold of him to call Valenstein. Some things couldn't be helped he supposed. He readjusted his black silken gloves before pressing some of his fingertips on the screen, and pulling them outwards. A small magitech square appeared, Fain quickly cycling through the contacts with his finger so quickly they hadn't even shown up before he was dialing. The holo square disappeared and he placed the phone up to his ear, leaning his cheek on the receiver as he dialed Valenstein. He was confident the man would pick up. Valenstein would never ignore a call for him. Never. Fain couldn't even remember a time he actually called the man, but was grateful Valenstein had insisted on giving him his number so long ago. He supposed he might have even been embarrassed for calling, but it wasn't about emotions. His footsteps thudded on the dock wood softly as he made his way back to Cradle's inner area. He needed to catch a carriage. 'It's everything about emotions. If you weren't so nervous you wouldn't be calling him in the first place. He can take care of himself!' Fain didn't want to leave that to chance, for he had seen Wicket surpass chance.
  7. That small entrance encouraged him, Fain kneeling down and locating the small space and journal. He flipped through the paged, speed reading dexterously through the dates and summaries. Wicket somehow made an appearance in all three entries. He could feel his jaw clench, his teeth grinding against each other in frustration as he read each encounter. Ignored. Played off. Imaginary. Fain closed his eyes for a moment, and just for a moment, cursed Abbot's parents for not paying proper attention to their child. They should have seen him, they should have seen the tall crooked man with hungry eyes watching their child. 'But they didn't, and they were punished. Rightfully so. They play a happy little game, look like a happy little family...but they neglected their child maybe without even realizing it. How could they have missed Wicket three times? THREE. Fain.' his mind hissed. 'Who just lets their child go out on their own? Who lets their child be alone in the dark of the night on the docks where anyone can pass by? We understand the feeling of neglect.' Fain ignored the voice. He made note of Abbot's information. The special trees, the farm. The timeline. It was recent. Time was of the essence. Clutching the pages, he stood up. The lantern went out with a hush, Fain freezing up in light surprise. Something felt wrong, much too wrong, Fain felt too aware of his own breathing, a sound of heavy silence. The voice that lulled him into the darkness wasn't unknown. It couldn't be anyone else but Wicket. He remained silent, too shocked to even find the words if he had them. The low threats towards himself didn't do much, he knew how much Wicket liked to play with others. Jhadre, the previous detective was a clear indicator of that. But the mention of Valenstein had him furrowing his brows. Valenstein? The man wasn't corrupted surely. Valenstein as annoying as he was held himself to rather high standards. However....he had high tastes as well. Money was always something Valenstein seemed to have a strange fixation on. Working with Richard couldn't be a clean job no matter how it seemed to appear. Valenstein was judgmental and slightly prejudiced. 'Why should it matter? Are you honestly going to choose Valenstein over a case? Over something that has finally given you that spark again? The will to continue?' Couldn't he have both? Make sure the man was safe and continue the case? 'No.' Yes. "Wicket.." he breathed, voice a simple whisper. But the presence had left. Why had he wanted to talk to him in the first place? Reason couldn't be used on criminals, logic couldn't move someone who doesn't think rationally. But there were reasons behind Wicket's madness. Reasons that Fain might have understood and perhaps...agreed with to some extent. To some. But that is the reason they were on opposing sides after all. He inhaled, sucking in the salty sea air and filling his lungs with needed oxygen, shoving the entries in his coat pocket. He needed to go to the farm...or perhaps he'd pay Valenstein a visit first.
  8. Fain didn't know what to make of that, merely staying silent at the small admission of Omrik. As if he could mean something to a child he had just met. And yet...wasn't that the reason he was even here in the first place? Because of Abbot? He tried to not let the 'bad luck' omen get to him, though there was a very real feeling of something that just 'wasn't right' when he was inside this room. After lighting the lantern, he reach up on the tip of his toes to unlatch the light and bring it with him. He ran his pale fingertips over some of the maps that Abbot had drawn, feeling the heavy silence settling over the room. He gripped his chin loosely with his thumb and crook of his finger in contemplation as he scanned the walls. Fain could point out heavily detailed reports and stories from his observations. He could weave tales just by a couple pieces of paper or how boxes were stacked in certain ways. But what he couldn't find, was something that was relevant to the current case so therefore, this was all frustratingly useless. He turned, lantern swinging too hastily and knocked over a box. He startled, backpedaling lightly as the sound seemed loud and thunderous in this strange and quiet room. After his heart stopped thudding, he knelt down to pick up some of the drawings to at least put them on the table in an effort to salvage some. When he lifted himself from the ground, papers clutched in hands his eyes strayed to some of the others that got away. One in particular caught his attention harshly, his heart suddenly giving a loud thud within his ears. Other drawings forgotten on the table, Fain turned to face the grinning demon, taking in the triangular tooth grin and caption underneath. ...What? Hesitantly, he reached for the picture, picking it up with discontented pale eyes. How could this exist? When was this drawn? Had Wicket been seen before the incident with Abbot's parents? And by Abbot no less? His fingers gripped the paper a bit tighter, wrinkling a bit of the sheet. But when..whenwhenwhen was this drawn. The drawing. It didn't look like it was created through an emotional spurt. The drawing though crude, matched a child's skill evenly. It wasn't drawn with harsh hard stroke or a shaky crying hand. There weren't tear drop stains on the paper, there wasn't angry wrinkles. Abbot couldn't have drawn this- 'Of course he couldn't have drawn it after his parents death you idiot, he was at the hospital the entire time!' his internal voice hissed at him in impatience. 'Don't be so sloppy!' But that just means...it was drawn before the incident. And somehow that didn't make Fain feel any more comforted.
  9. He bit back a rebuttal, his teeth biting momentarily into his tongue. The man was right, he didn't know Abbot well. He met the child once, and yet their conversation was probably one of the most genuine encounters Fain had all year. He inhaled slightly, the salty air dancing around his sense.His hand clutched the pendant tight when he was asked how he acquired it. "He gave it to me-Abbot. I...wouldn't know why." Fain murmured, thinking back to their talk. Flashes of crayons and shy smiles made their way into his mind and he shook his head. Sentiment. When he was lead to the clubhouse Fain paused. Not just a pause, he practically froze in his boots in fact, irrational fear welling up inside him. Not because he felt in danger, but because this was a children's sanctuary. Abbot's place where he probably poured ounces of love and effort into. Where he stored little treasure that made him happy and felt like this was his home away from home. Fain didn't know if he could properly detach himself emotionally from the situation if he walked inside. "I apologize, it is rude of me to have not properly introduced myself." he blurted, turning to the man. "Fain Locke." he said, giving a bow of his noble head, but making no point to present a handshake to the man. "I appreciate your assistance." He pushed the clubhouse door open after that, barely aware of the man behind him now, his eyes flicking around the room rapidly for information. There wasn't much to see that wasn't obvious, but it was a bit more difficult to evaluate with such shoddy lighting. His eyes fell onto the lantern that was hanging on the right side of the room, hoping there'd still be oil in it. He moved inside, inhaling softly and reaching up to touch the knob. 'You're asking to get yourself blown up you imbecile.' the voice teased in his head. 'Wicket could be anywhere you know, he could have easily tampered with something in here.' Fain ignored that trail of thought, turning the knob to turn on the lantern.
  10. What did he want? What was he even supposed to ask? 'Sorry you're mourning but can you think of any place a child murderer would take that child?' the mental voice asked with a twisted grin. Fain felt like a rather big fool in this moment. "I'm-" he started, biting back his apology, pride not allowing it. "I wanted to see where...Abbot said he liked to go." he mumbled, pulling out the pendant and looking down at it in the palm of his pale hand. "It's a rather foolish mentality." he muttered, looking up to the man and taking in the information he said. As if that didn't tell him what he already knew. The situation was bad. Great. However the fact it just happened in the morning gave Fain a bit more hope. He had simply assumed the child had gotten kidnapped in the late hours of the night instead. Perhaps time was more of the essence than he thought. Fain moved up to the dock as well to stand parallel with the sitting man.
  11. Excellent writing. Keep up the good work.

    1. Lady Etude

      Lady Etude

      Oh, how kind of you thanks so much!!

  12. He shouldn't be here. Honestly, what was he even doing? The small group of people at the docks had frozen his steps and all that remained was weariness. He wasn't Abbot's friend, he talked to the child a single time, and he made a...a careless and stupid promise. How could he have promised such a thing in the first place? It was so out of character, so unlike him to find refuge in paltry words nevertheless giving such intentions to a child. Stupid. 'So stupid'' a voice in his head mocked. 'And now he's dead.' Fain ignored that voice, he had to for the sake of his sanity. It wasn't as if he deserved to be here, coming to the water on a stupid but perhaps effective lead. The shame he felt walking a bit closer to the vigil increased with every step he took. His fingers traced the wave symbol pendant in his pocket, almost in a strange form of comfort. He didn't want that to become a habit, so he pulled his hand out of his pocket and clasped his fingers together behind his back. They were clearly connected, the symbol was somehow a connection...but he couldn't find out more unless he approached and asked about it. 'How appropriate, ruining their time together of mourning.' his mind sneered. Fain ignored that comment too, clenching his jaw in frustration. He shouldn't be here... Nevertheless...he was, and so he moved closer, the hunched figures and solemn stars getting closer. Fain swallowed down his nervousness, eyeing the figure who had the tattoo on his back. Him, Fain needed to talk to him first. So he steeled his nerves and approached with all of the nobility and regal training he'd possessed. And yet when he got there, all of that presented confidence shriveled up. "Excuse me..." he mumbled to the man weakly, his voice soft (that was much too soft) an inquiry that could easily be carried away on the wind.
  13. He was silent, but not for the reason he usually was. Valenstein's sudden harshness had stunned him, locked up his joints and left him scrambling for an answer on how to respond to that. No, yes, maybe. Likely. He didn't say anything as his little wall was taken away from him, revealing the full bloodied message. Fain pondered the previous detective on this case, if the poor soul had to deal with these things. No, surely if he had...he would already be dead by now. Fain swallowed thickly, Valenstein's words bringing him back to the present. "I''m...uncertain." is all he mumbled, and that was shameful enough. Was this for sure Wicket? The only thing he knew for certain was that whoever managed to get into his observatory was skilled, a professional. The thought almost comforted him that it might be someone else, like that wretched Constantine. If only... The hug was unexpected, Valenstein did tend to switch moods at the drop of a hat though. He found himself beginning to move his arms up to return the hug, to just 'feel' something solid, but his arms locked up and he subtly placed back at his sides, dangling uselessly. He soaked in the information the other man told him like a sponge, running the facts through his head carefully. How could he have been moved, there were guards everywhere guarding that boy. Everywhere. Then again, Fain was the first to admit how corrupt and faulty law was. Where was the real justice? Why hadn't Wicket been slaughtered on a skewer for what he's done yet? Why hadn't Fain come into this information sooner? His inhaled softly through his nostrils, trying to calm down the righteous anger that brewed inside of him. Contain that..it is an ugly thing..that anger. Maddening. Consuming. "I understand Valenstein. If you would..." Fain trailed off, gripping the man's arm softly, barely even a noticeable presence. "Please find him." he murmured, his touch already falling away like water, watching Valenstein go without another word. When the man was out of sight, his gaze grew lidded and expression turned into a carefully blank mask. But there was an unquenchable fire that burned in his gaze, Fain turning back inside and shutting the door. The first thing he did was move over to his desk, grabbing a spare vial and scraping off some of the blood to put inside of the glass tube, corking it tightly. He'd look at that later. For now, it was a hunt. He moved aggressively, putting on the kettle with a clang and putting the vial back on his messy desk full of papers and notes. He wrenched off his vest as he moved to the small corner than contained the closet for his clothes, throwing his vest in the hamper and unbuttoning his blouse to go along with it. Fain began pulling another crisp white blouse from the hanger, pausing in his motions. 'All the better to see your blood splattered across your clean white clothes.' the voice taunted in his mind, Fain clenching on his jaw and pulling down the shirt as if to personally spite himself. He threw it on, dexterously doing up the black buttons with ease all the way up, hitting mid neck. High-waisted tight black pants were put on next, blouse tucked in, and then black boots that hit just below the knee with a small heel. He completed his outfit with a lace cravat and a black silken ribbon to tie it together. Fain ran a brush through his white curled locks sloppily, tossing the brush haphazardly on the stand, moving back to the stove and grabbing the kettle just as it started to wail. He dropped a black tea bag into a mug, pouring the water in soon after. As he was waiting for the tea to cool down he quickly moved back to the hamper, grabbing the worn pants from last night and digging through the pockets almost frantically, exhaling softly when he pulled out Abbot's pendant. He clutched it in his hand tightly, nearly drawing blood before releasing it into his black pants pockets. A couple sips of tea later and Fain was shaking his head, the adrenaline fueling him to forget it and move towards the door. He grabbed one of his jackets, a tight red pea coat and slipped on some black lace gloves, reaching for the knob. His hand paused on the metal, his body turning and moving over to his desk silently. Fingers pulled open a drawer and pulled out a glass dagger, brows furrowing in contemplation before he slipped it in his coat pocket. Then he was out the door. If Abbot was kidnapped, then frankly there wouldn't be anything to go off of other than the information that Valenstein and the guards said. But Fain couldn't help the compulsion to follow the child's words themselves. The sea...Cradle didn't exactly have a ton of places with water, it was a bustling, industrial, magi-technology infested area where nature didn't really grow naturally anymore. The Inner Ring was much more natural the the Outer Ring but perhaps the real place was the outskirts of the Outer Ring. There was a decently sized dock area for industrial boating... not really for fish, but for traveling and mining for elemental magic down the rivers that ran through the city. Fain's boots lead him there, clacking across the cobblestone with every step.
  14. That was something he could react to, instead of just standing there like a damnable fool frozen from fear. The familiar barking of Valenstein, as much as he loathe to admit it, had sent a thrum of warmth in his chest. Someone was there near his house. Someone he was familiar with. At least he wasn't so terribly alone just for this one moment. But the name 'Abbot' had his mind shouting at him. Abbot. Abbot. The boy...the boy was gone? It couldn't possibly be...not after the promise he had made to him. Not after... It felt like the pendant in his pocket was burning a hole through his very skin. A harsh bang on his door had him flinching from anxiety, hearing Valenstein's worried voice giving him pause. He moved quickly, the gears in his mind turning. Valenstein could provide him with the information he needed to now. The blood would be considered later just-later. Abbot. Abbot was the only thing running through his mind now. Fain reached out a shaky hand, taking an equally unsteady breath to calm himself down a bit. He opened the door. "Valenstein..." he greeted softly, it came out a bit meeker than usual perhaps conveying the tone of helplessness he felt at this moment in time. "Is Abbot-I-did he-" Fain tried, but to his horror found himself stammering over the words he somehow couldn't bear to say out loud. He averted his eyes to the floor, only just now realizing there was some blood trailing outside as well. "Oh.."he murmured in acknowledgement. "Yes, I see now." he said blandly. The little voice inside of his logical mind laughed cruelly at him.
  15. Research was done, calls were made, and rosters were looked into. He had made a very good amount of progress but at the same time Fain knew it just wasn't fast enough. He could feel the time slipping away from his hands the more he read. Eventually the words had blurred together, his head felt heavy and then he had awoken to a headache and a dry mouth with the sun just peeking through the horizon. Fain groaned lightly, putting a hand to his head and making a note that he needed some water. Shaking out of his tired stupor, his eyes fell back down to his notes, inhaling deeply to calm himself. The smell of strong iron had him reeling in surprise, the young man stumbling out of his chair in alarm. He whipped his head around, hand clutching onto the back of his chair tightly in confusion. That smell... In trepidation, he inched towards the smell, feeling the blood pumping in his heart. Was he still dreaming? Maybe it was just the stress. The bloodied words of "Good Luck" staring back at him in his own house had his heart tightening in terror. That wasn't a dream. He backed away, his eyes trailing down along the blood pools and onto the floor. Too many questions bombarded him in an instant. Was someone here? How did they get in. Whose blood was it. Who did this. Were they still inside? His breaths quickened, and he turned, racing back to his notes and gathering them up, shoving them into his pack. Call the police, get out, go somewhere...safe. Safe? Where to go. How could his situation have been compromised so quickly?