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Nightmares
#1
Continued from Seeking Control

Calvin awoke in The Dream in the forests outside of Moscow. Calvin ran through the woods, the emotions still swirling in his head, but feeling better since he met with Jensen and Giovanni. The Dream wouldn't grant him much rest, but probably more so than the restless sleep he was getting before.

Nightmares. Calvin haven't been that disturbed by them in a long time. These one had been vivid - almost real. Calvin came into the Dream because of them. Maybe he could hide here until his emotions became more stable. Then he would get some real sleep.

The dream seemed different - darker somehow than he remembered. The trees seemed to reach for him. The branches seemed like claws reaching to grab onto him and afflict pain. The dream was a reflection of his own emotions, so he ran and focused on his breathing. He heard somewhere that physical activity could calm, and it helped push back the darkness a bit. He was unable to completely banish the swirling emotions in his head however.

He felt a familiar presence approach. Dawn Wind was coming and he was agitated. Calvin expected anger, but only felt agitation from the old wolf. Dawn Wind sent him images in rapid secession. Calvin could only discern one thing.

"Danger"


Calvin sent him confusion, unaware of what the wolf was talking about. He knew the dream was dangerous, but the way the wolf circled him made Calvin think there was something else. Wolves would circle their prey, but Dawn Wind wasn't doing that. His eyes were focused away from Calvin deeper into the woods - an alpha wolf protecting a pup.

More images and Calvin caught more of them this time. "Danger. Leave. It hunts you."


Something was hunting him?

"It brought you here. It hunts you."


Suddenly Calvin felt afraid. The darkness returned and the trees reached for him again. Calvin's breathing quickened at the fear.

"Star Gazer - focus! No fear. It has found us. Follow."


Calvin followed Dawn Wind to a clearing. "It's following. Leave now before...No...it's too late."


Dawn Wind froze and growled. It was too late. Whatever was hunting him had found him. Calvin felt more wolves approaching. Despite the instructions, given the way Dawn Wind was acting. Calvin was unable to banish his fear.


Edited by Calvin, Nov 20 2014, 04:49 PM.
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#2
Memory had long since faded, and she was both empty and content in this world of spirits and shadows. Her consciousness drifted, dangerous in such a place as this, but her control here had always been a strange thing. She was connected in a way others were not, although that of course had its drawbacks. "Nimeda."
She murmured the name to herself from time to time. To remember. She had not seen Jon for some while, an eternity to her unanchored mind, so that his memory grew thin. Until next they met, at least.

Various faces often haunted her dreaming here, and sometimes she was drawn to people as they slept. A night-time guardian, or curious voyeur at least, but tonight there was only her own existence wandering free and unburdened. For a while, anyway.

The distress called her, hearkening to some old, ancient part of herself that stirred at its presence. She went without decision, the trees materialising thick and pressing a deep darkness that was none of her own doing. What made them so ominous she did not know. Another mind, perhaps. Fear was not something she usually succumbed to, through the very essence of her detached nature, maybe, else a startling naivety. Her fingers trailed the bark and stretching gnarled limbs as she materialised, but she made no attempt to impress her own shape to them. The nightmare plucked at her consciousness, beckoning her into its grip. But she believed not the power of anything here.

Save perhaps the wolf.

Nimeda saw the wolf before the brother; usually she steered clear of them, a mutually kept distance edged with somewhat wary respect. She was something ancient. And so were they, armed with distant memories of long, long ago actions she could no longer recall. By their distance, she did not think she had always been kind to them. Their human brethren she had some more experience with, and it was this one's pain that had summoned her. So many wandered this place. Lost or feral. And brother she assumed him to be by the man's company, though she could not see his face nor burnished eyes. They stared out, beyond the clearing, and into darkness.

"Something comes?"
she judged by their readiness, her presence finally solidifying some short way behind them, still stood among the trees. Her feet were bare, her hair long wild and loose, and paint splattered the fingers she used to grasp at the trunk of a tree. The wide-eyed picture of curious innocence, though she looked upon the wolf with unhidden wariness. Where there was one there was more. A shiver of apprehension traversed her spine. The man's ill dream. Or something else. She trusted this world, but it was not always benign. Despite her reservations, she stepped cautiously out.


Edited by Thalia, Nov 25 2014, 05:48 PM.
"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
Calvin smelled the woman more than he sensed her approach. He turned his head to look over his shoulder as she approached, yellow eyes gleaming in the dream-moonlight. He wasn't sure what it was about her presence that calmed him. Maybe just the fact that there was another human being here - someone for him to protect maybe.

Calvin wondered if she was what was stalking him, but she didn't approach from the same direction that Dawn Wind seemed fixated on. Calvin noticed the slight flick of the wolf's ears that signaled he knew of her approach as well. Dawn Wind didn't see her as a threat - or at least as an immediate one.

"It's not safe here."
Calvin warned her and he sensed irritation coming from Dawn Wind at that. He had ignored the same warning only moments before.

Dawn Wind sent more images - claws and teeth - reminding Calvin that he was unarmed. His clothing shifted into a knight's armor with a broadsword - what a weird thing. It was bulky, made Calvin look stupid, and he didn't like it. He thought more carefully this time and shifted into leather jerkin. A bow materialized in his hand as a quiver and some daggers did on his person.

Dawn Wind growled loudly and Calvin could hear whatever it was approaching. "What is it?"
Calvin sent the question to Dawn Wind, but said it aloud also for the woman's benefit.

"Nightmare..."


"A nightmare...
Calvin repeated and nocked an arrow to the bowstring. It would arrive soon. He only hoped the woman was ready.
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#4
It's not safe here. That wasn't the first time someone had tried to warn her of the danger this place presented, but now as then she didn't appear to have the sense to heed it. His eyes were gold, like bright coins, filled to the brim with emotions she didn't fully care to decipher. She found their alienness beautiful, and she meant to tell him so before he flickered. For a moment armour jutted out in the place of ordinary clothes, a massive sword, and oh! the memories! Of a gleaming white monolith refracting colour from a seven-banded rainbow. The image faded even as he shifted again, soon forgotten to the fierce darkness and the wolf's low growl.

Nimeda ventured out cautiously. She had no weapons, nor did her appearance change to accommodate her surroundings. "A nightmare."
The word was murmured curiously, like a child's trinket explored with tiny hands. Something... something... something she had known once, but now only existed as a vague and maddeningly elusive fuzziness - she could easily chase it to oblivion, insensitive to the danger that still surrounded them, if something more interesting had not caught her attention.

"Your nightmare?"
She ventured mostly to herself, not to him, deciphering the strangeness without truly fearing the peril she placed herself in with every wandering step. She paused to peer from behind his shoulder, and only refrained from putting a touch to the crook of his elbow because he readied an arrow. Ahead the shadows grew darker, but she only wondered what was coming, and why it felt so familiar.
"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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#5
The woman was now standing directly behind him, peeking out from behind him curiously. A question from the woman caught his attention and although it seemed more introspective, he answered. "I'm not sure."


He send images to Dawn Wind, questioning the reality of the thing that was approaching. The images sent back disturbed Calvin - it was as real as any of them.

The thing finally materialized through the trees. A nightmare in the form of a demon. It stood perhaps half a foot taller than Calvin himself and was thin. Bat like wings spread from it's back. Its knee joints were backwards from a human's and ended in clawed feet. The arms were thin and ended in sharp talons. From the demons grotesquely nude and leathery form, Calvin could tell the thing was female. He recognized it. It had haunted his dreams the night before. It had followed - or lured - him here.

"Yeah...that's my nightmare."
Calvin said before his hands suddenly flew to his head as his the bow in his hand disappeared.

Images flashed in his mind. Images that made him want to cry. He saw his family dying all over again. All the things that caused him pain as his inner demon attacked. The thoughts of his own death coursed through his mind again. And as suddenly as they began, they stopped.

Pain shot through him and the nightmare was directly in front of him. Hot blood coursed down his chest. He looked down and three distinct lines crossed his chest. They weren't deep enough to kill, but they hurt bad. He also noticed he was standing in the nude -though how that happened he could hardly guess.

He didn't have time to change that. The thing was going for the killing blow and Calvin stepped back, gently pushing the woman behind him. He felt genuine fear as the the thing began to attack. For all he knew it was drawn to his emotions or the embodiment of the demon he had been fighting since that night with Sierra. However, the demon was soon struck by a wolf. It wasn't Dawn Wind. It was a dapper white that told him to focus. The wolf's sending was familiar, but Calvin knew it couldn't be him. He had watched that wolf die.

The wolf pack had arrived, and had begun to distract the wolf. Calvin blushed a bit as he thought of his armor and weapons again bringing them back to his person. He had to face this fear, but had no idea if he could.


Edited by Calvin, Nov 25 2014, 04:29 PM.
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#6
The fines hairs on her arms stood static; she could feel the tension, if not truly share the fear. Her ancient self quivered in reaction, like a rousted dog not quite sure what had disturbed it. Even the emergence of the grotesque demon did not shed light on why she had been drawn here, and though she recoiled from its image as it burst from the fog of the trees, it did not explain anything for her. Nothing kept her here but invisible chains, tethering her to a nature she could never fully understand.

Then, when the man's hands embraced his head, she finally had some small glimpse of what had truly called to her. But the significant scope of that understanding bled quickly to something closer to normal human empathy. He hurt tremendously. Nimeda's hand hovered over his naked shoulder, but the consolation of a touch electrified suddenly with something greater. Gifts stirred, lingering at the edges of memory. She knew enough, for a moment. Enough to know she could help him. But he would lose much in the process. Her hand moved away, hastened perhaps by the glimpse of the wolf in her peripheral. They would not forgive her for that. It would be akin to stealing their brother away from them.

Amidst her reverie, the demon had moved. Emotional pain became physical. Wounds had meaning here. Maybe that was something Jon had said, or maybe it was something she had always known, popped to the surface like a burst bubble. The man pushed her back, buffeted her with his body like she was something he wished to protect. For a moment she was caught on the sight of the blood, understanding that it would follow him back, then distracted by back where? Jumbled in her own thoughts, she cradled back her own hand, quietening the flood of power that had reacted to his distress until she was nothing but an empty vessel. She would help, but not that way.

More wolves rippled through the shadows. "Your nightmare."
She said it again, only this time is wasn't a question. Nor an accusation, but more like the affirmation of ownership. She was still close, though it would have been a simple thing to blink away. The demon did not even seem to notice her; she was little more here than an observer. Armour clinked around him again, plus the bravery of weapons now the wolves had come to his aid, but it would do him little good. Only she didn't quite know how to make him understand. Instead she tugged on his arm, begging him back away from the fight. "It will kill your wolves if you let it. They will die forever. But demons do not exist. Do you see?"
"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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#7
Die forever. What did she mean by that? Wasn't death already eternal? It was how Calvin knew that the white wolf that had likely saved his life wasn't Snow even though he felt like Snow. The demon wasn't real - but Dawn Wind had said it was.

Confusion intermingled with the fear he was feeling. Was the thing real or not? Could he banish it with nothing more than a thought. Those thoughts were soon interrupted when he saw the demon with a talon through a wolf. It was Dawn Wind. A claw had impaled the wolf and it stuck out the other end. The demon dropped the wolf to the ground. Dawn Wind struggled to stand, but was unable to and he slumped back down to the ground.

”NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!”
Calvin screamed in fury. The confusion and fear changing instantly to anger as the wolf rose in him. He even forgot about the burning pain in his chest as he charged at the demon. He dropped the bow again and didn’t draw the daggers that had appeared at his belt. He didn’t need them. He didn’t want them. As the wolf took over, he changed into wolf form and launched himself at the demon. The two rolled across the ground and Calvin attacked aiming for the throat.

The creature seemed to decrease in size and swung at Calvin with claws. Calvin backed away, and circled his prey waiting for the right moment to strike. When Calvin saw it, he pounced and tackled the creature once more, biting for the things throat. Calvin felt his teeth sink in to the demon’s flesh and felt the warm blood. The taste was putrid, but Calvin didn’t care. He just wanted the thing to die.

And with that, it quivered and disappeared. Calvin reverted back to human form after a few moments when the fury calmed down enough for Calvin to regain control. He returned wearing his normal jeans, but no shirt – the wound still ached. He ran to Dawn Wind and picked him up. The wolf was still holding on to life.

”Stargazer…for me the Dream ends…


The wolf fell limp in his arms and Calvin could feel the hot tears streaming down his face. He looked up and saw the white wolf gazing at him. Wolf and man met eyes before the wolf spoke to him – telling him to be wary of the woman with him. It then turned, and left the clearing. Calvin sat still, holding the corpse of his friend.
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#8
When he flung himself at the demon, Nimeda sank down onto her heels, hands over her face. She didn't want to leave, but neither did she want to watch. If it ever occurred to her to interfere, she didn't act on it; it was only when the noises of battle ended that she slowly peeked out, wrapping her arms about herself, still crouching. Her face was solemn, wearied at the edges like she had seen enough of blood and death to last a thousand lifetimes. For a while after she only watched the dirt and leaves under her feet, shifting at it with each squeeze of her toes. His was a grief she did not wish to share.

Eventually, once she felt she had given him enough time, she stood and pottered carefully over. She did not expect to be welcome, but she plopped down next to him anyway. Her arms folded over her knees in a childlike posture as she stared at the dead wolf. In this world she need not feel any of the things around her, but she chose to embrace the heat of blood and tears. Still, for a time she said nothing. One hand wavered as though she was going to pet the cooling body, but she refrained from the familiarity, tucking the hand back on her lap. She didn't know what the brother would do. But she felt... sad.

"I could take this away. If... you wanted."
The words were sincere and soft, the offer she made not fully comprehended in her own mind, but she knew anyway that it was why she had come.
"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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#9
Calvin cried for his friend lost to him. He had died trying to protect him. Calvin should have heeded his friend's warning and left when he had the chance. The pain on his chest mingled with the pain in his heart.

He was aware of the woman coming closer. She sat down next to him and held her knees to her chest. The wolf had told him to be wary of her, but in that posture he felt like he needed to do something for her. She was almost cute that way - and reminded him of a lost child that needed guidance.

"Are you okay?"
he asked her as she asked her question.

Her question confused him. She could take what away? His thoughts went back to the things he had been thinking before. He could end the pain permanently. Was she offering to...end it?

Calvin turned his eyes towards her, skepticism showing on his face. "Who are you and what do you mean?
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#10
Nimeda nodded blithely to the question of whether or not she was okay, as though it was not really of concern, and concentrated instead on how to clarify what she struggled to explain. She knew what she offered as a feeling, as something unnameable, something that just was. As such she had assumed he would understand what she meant. It had always been that way, hadn't it? Or maybe she had never made a habit of asking, just of stealing. Though her intentions had always been good, she was... sure?

"The things that make pain."
She regarded the gouges in his chest as she spoke, thinking again of their permanency. "The things that make sorrow. It chases you, yes? And I would guard you from it. Set a new path?"
She shrugged a little, as though the words she spoke were a little beyond reach even for her. "Make things better."
She tapped her own forehead with a finger, then eased herself from a cautious crouch to sit comfortably cross-legged beside him. Did that explain? She wasn't sure, but she did know that regardless of her methods, she did mean to help him.

"Who am I?"
She took a moment to try and glue the many disparate pieces of who'd she'd been together, but didn't find much taste for the task; chasing a different set of memories on the heels of other thoughts was too difficult. In the end she settled for Jon's gift. Names were ephemeral anyway, and she was in any case composed of many. "I'm called Nimeda now,"
she told him. There had been a purpose to that, but she didn't remember it any longer, just that she was fond of the name.

Whether she had explained her intentions clearly or not, she didn't appear to require an answer. Completely unselfconsciously, and apparently having lost her wariness, she leaned in to brush a little at the tears on his cheek like he were an old and dear friend, not someone she had just stumbled upon. "What was his name?"
"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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