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Shadows for the shy
#1
Continued from: Car doors



Late afternoon and thin streams of daylight made pale stripes out of the blinds covering the windows. They had been closed when he arrived, curtains also, like the occupant of this apartment had not been here in a day or two. Another property was registered to the name Thalia Milton, one in Old Arbat, but appearances in a residence always had more of a personal touch than commercial. In Old Arbat, also, the streets were more closely patrolled.

It was the personal touches that made Adrik Ivanov a valued contractor. For instance, as he scrutinized a wall of books, he plucked from among them a picture of another young girl that resembled Miss Thalia. A sister, Aylin, was a doctor in the city. All evidence suggested close family ties, but in Adrik's experience, even distanced relatives provided suitable pressure points for the shy of voice. But given Thalia's reputation, he doubted the girl would need additional coercion.

As night fell, his investigation of the small Filevesky apartment was fully complete and he retreated to a closet near to wait for Thalia to return home. Just another shadow among a room slated with shades of gray.


Adrik Ivanov
NPC goon

"So?" said Loki impatiently.  "This isn't the first time the world has come to an end, and it won't be the last either."
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#2
[[Double posting because I am so WOEFULLY BEHIND.]]

The days blurred, and sometimes it was easier to stay at the studio rather than make the trek home to her apartment. Of course, there was a limit to the studio's home comforts, and she was finished with a recent commission, so it seemed as good a time as any to spend the evening vegged on the sofa, feet propped up in front of whatever rubbish passed for TV these days. Oh, and call Aylin. To be nagged no doubt, but hey ho.

She shut the door behind her, dumped her keys, slouched the satchel from her shoulder, and pottered about the little kitchenette. The flick of one finger set the kettle to boil, while another switched on the radio to a low hum (and her tuneless accompaniment). An inspection of the fridge revealed it was woefully stocked (probably should have picked something up on the way home), but she stared at the contents with a frown anyway, trying to piece together a meal.
"A river is water in its loveliest form; rivers have life and sound and movement and infinity of variation, rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
Roderick Haig-Brown
[Image: nimedathalialethebanner.jpg]
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#3
Adrik Ivanov
NPC goon

Adrik was quiet as a shadow as someone clearly entered the room. Their shuffling was unmistakeably female, but he waited for visual confirmation before leaving his quiet retreat. He kept her in his sights, analyzing the way she moved, the shape of her frame. When she had her ack to the room, studiously examining the refrigerator, he emerged none too quietly. The sliding of the closet door on its hinge was her first warning, but Adrik was fast. He was upon Thalia before she could react... much. His goal was not to harm her, not yet anyway. The first priority was containment and silence, the former accomplished with strong-arming her into plastic zip bands, the latter with a knife to the throat. "Quiet! Answer my questions and you'll live," his order beckoned her obedience.
"So?" said Loki impatiently.  "This isn't the first time the world has come to an end, and it won't be the last either."
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#4
She spun, eyes wide, a scream in her throat. Cold metal. A strange man in her home. And something worse, like a dam burst its banks in her mind, flooding in fast and colder, far colder than the touch of that blade. "No-no-no-no-no."
If she heeded his words, or even heard them, she did not shut up. The murmur was fearful and insistent, her eyes glazed, her body slack and not struggling despite the restraint.
"A river is water in its loveliest form; rivers have life and sound and movement and infinity of variation, rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
Roderick Haig-Brown
[Image: nimedathalialethebanner.jpg]
Reply
#5
Adrik Ivanov
NPC goon

As this wasn't Adrik's first go at these sorts of things, he was prepared for any number of reactions, but Thalia's freak-out was unnerving. He wasn't a fan of crying, screaming women anyway, but going looney? "Shut that up!" he hissed in her ear. She was under control, otherwise, so he pocketed the knife in exchange for pulling out a picture of another girl. This one was taken from a security camera in a parking garage. The girl herself was in a skirt and tall boots. Young, with brightly colored hair. "Tell me where to find her. We know you know who she is. What's her name and where do we find her?" He hung the picture in front of Thalia's face as he leaned around her tiny body to make sure she was actually looking at it and gave her arms a yank just for good measure.

Edited by Jaxen Marveet, Jun 3 2015, 05:56 PM.
"So?" said Loki impatiently.  "This isn't the first time the world has come to an end, and it won't be the last either."
Reply
#6
Memories glazed her understanding of the present, and behind all that a light growing brighter and brighter, and with it her eyes more and more frightened. Thal remembered snatches of other things but shied away from recognition. She was terrified, but not just of the man who had assaulted her in her own home. His words were nothing but raindrops spattering against a raging river, soon lost; she couldn't concentrate on them even if she'd wanted to. Then a yank to her arm broke the confusion, and a second later the pressure eased and her body fell in a crumpled heap.

The breath whooshed out of her, the world suddenly far dimmer than it had any right to be. Tears blurred her eyes and she shook badly, more inclined to curl into a protective ball than to seek escape. She didn't know what she'd done, nor did she want to. The intruder slumped on the floor like an accusation, and she didn't pause to see how long it would take him to get up. Or if he would. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
The words leaked out with a choke as she tried to scramble up.

[[In case it's unclear, she channeled to protect herself. But nothing more serious than a shove of Air]]
"A river is water in its loveliest form; rivers have life and sound and movement and infinity of variation, rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
Roderick Haig-Brown
[Image: nimedathalialethebanner.jpg]
Reply
#7
Adrik Ivanov
NPC goon

On one hand, the girl went limp and on the other, her mind built a solid wall. Adrik hated it when this happened. She cracked with fear. There was only one way to deal with her. He moved them toward a chair, where he intended to tie her down. A few hours gagged and tied up, once the adrenaline was exhausted, she'd come to her senses and remember how to form words. Made for a terribly boring interrogation for Adrik. He only had one easy question, why make such a rebellion over it?

"Shut up will you!?" he couldn't stand another moment of her whimpering! But all of a sudden, something ripped him away from her and he was flying through the air! His legs flailed to stay under him, but he crashed to the ground, but not before hitting his head on the side of a table on the way. He stayed down, knocked out for a second.

A few seconds later he roused himself, grunting as he did, and pushed up. His eyesight was all wacked in the dark as he searched for the girl. Now he was pissed.

"So?" said Loki impatiently.  "This isn't the first time the world has come to an end, and it won't be the last either."
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#8
Her legs struggled to support her weight, like a fawn tottering its first steps, but the fear reordered to calm. She should have grabbed her wallet, or dived for the door, but common sense didn't prevail as she retreated into the shadows of the apartment. Thalia swallowed dryly, refusing to confront what she had done or how. Her fingers fumbled for a weapon. Memories changed, like water claiming a drowning face. She felt eerily unlike herself.

He'd witnessed something he shouldn't , and every instinct suggested it a secret better kept to the grave. Already the man stirred, and already Thalia believed she had smashed him over the head with the saucepan now firmly in her grip. His face was creased with anger, and she no longer felt bad for hurting him. He'd broken into her home. "Get out!"

"A river is water in its loveliest form; rivers have life and sound and movement and infinity of variation, rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
Roderick Haig-Brown
[Image: nimedathalialethebanner.jpg]
Reply
#9
Adrik Ivanov
NPC goon

Adrik struggled to his feet. The floor waved beneath them, but he focused on the girl that managed to knock him down.

Her order made him bark a laugh. "Like hell little girl. I leave in anything but a body bag and I'll never get another job again." His smile twisted into a snarl as he brought out the knife again. Thalia reached for something, but he was damned if she was going to get it.

A jump forward planted him in front of her. The knife flashed for intimidation, but the slap to the face was meant to hurt.
"So?" said Loki impatiently.  "This isn't the first time the world has come to an end, and it won't be the last either."
Reply
#10
That strange power fluttered again at sight of a knife-blade, shooting out as if to knock the weapon from his grasp. But the slap caught her off guard. Her jaw froze with pain, the shock and force of the blow sending her crashing round and down. Reflexively, her palm darted up to cradle the side of her face. The word body-bag whirled round in her head to the throb of pain, disparate puzzle pieces to whatever was going on. She stayed quiet.
"A river is water in its loveliest form; rivers have life and sound and movement and infinity of variation, rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
Roderick Haig-Brown
[Image: nimedathalialethebanner.jpg]
Reply


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