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(( This takes place after Ard and Synn complete thier meeting.  Synn takes Nisha's body an leaves for parts unknown))

Nisha wakes in a large canopy bed surrounded by silken sheets and overstuffed pillows.  She allows herself to sink into the soft warmth before her senses take over.  She is not in a place that should exist.  Sitting bolt upright she finds herself in a room out of some fairy tale.  Soft light from the fireplace and torches around the room, lend a soft glow.  Tapestries adorn the walls, and stained glass fills each of the windows.  The furniture is rich stained wood.  And at the table sits a man that looks familiar, but different just the same.  “Wolfy?”

The man looked up at her and a warm smile greeted her.  This was not the bestial man she knew.  His features were softer, more human.  His body was more compact, not all muscle and hair.

He offered her the cup that was sitting on the table.  “Nice to see you’re awake.  How are you feeling?”

Nisha scanned the room, sliding her hand under the pillow.  No weapons could be found.  Something within her panicked a moment before the man glanced down and moved something on the table.  Suddenly she was calm again.  “Please Nish, just accept where you are for now.  You are safe, I mean you no harm.  Please, come sit with me.”  The man indicated the chair next to him as Nisha cautiously approached.  “Help me with the pieces; there are a few I cannot move.”

Sitting at the table Nish looks down and sees puzzle pieces strewn across the space. “I need help picking out what ones to keep and what ones to discard.” He told her, indicating the pile of pieces before her.  “As you can see I managed enough to start, but it gets harder as I go along.”

Nisha’s gaze centered on the table and she saw what had been done.  The assembled pieces were of her face.

“Together we can put back the right pieces, and make it complete again.”

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Nisha Samara's picture

Struggling to take her eyes from his face, she finally looked at the puzzle. It was her face but the eyes were missing and her mouth was sewn shut like a shrunken head. Blood red hair was pulled upwards as if hanging from something.

She turned around, not wanting to look at it and shook her head.

"That's me alright" She said in a voice that was barely above a whisper, it caught slightly as if something was in her throat as she asked...

"You look so much like him..is Abyss in trouble?.. is he...." Unable to finish she stops and looks at him..a mixture hope and horror haunting her eyes.

Synn's picture

 

A warm smile filled his face.  "You care for him in your own twisted way, don't you?"  He reached down and replaced another puzzle piece.  It completed the Heart shaped locket she was wearing in the picture.

"Abyss is my Brother, a twin of sorts.  You may call me Damion.  As to where he is, all I can tell you now is, Abyss is... recovering.  He had a rather intense encounter with the sickness that was spreading across the canyon.  It may be a while till he is himself again."

“For the moment you need to help me with this.” He indicated the puzzle. “You are not well either, and I wish to repair that.”  Picking up a dark piece he tossed it in the fire. “We need to separate out the dark pieces, and find the ones that complete the image.  Putting back what is you, and eliminating all the dark that has shattered your mind.”

Nisha Samara's picture

His voice was calming and compelling, she could not help but turn her focus back to the puzzle and forgetting what she was about to say.

"The mouth is silenced, just as my voice was as a child while my entire life was planned for me, what I would wear, where I could go and who I would marry."

"During the times Aiidoneus would hunt and capture me, no one heard my screams except him.  He seemed to enjoy them.. so I tried to keep quiet, then afterwards I remained quiet about it.  There was no one to tell anyway."

Her gaze lifted back to his "Perhaps ..a new pair of lips for the puzzle?"

Synn's picture

 

"That would be if you were truly silenced.  Perhaps a different view?”  Synn spins the table and the light shifts as if the room moves behind them.  It stops again at the same pint, but the light is different, and there is a border around the image.

“The image is how you perceive yourself.  If you feel silenced, then it is so.  I see a noble woman, strong and free.  You must see something different.  As we fit pieces together we create what makes you.  It is built on what you perceive yourself as, how you feel about things, and memories that shaped your life.  If you choose only pain, fear, and sorrow then that is what it will be built with.”

Synn stand behind Nish and places his hands gently on her shoulders.  “ Look again, tell me what you see.”

Nisha Samara's picture

The puzzle blurred and in her mind she saw something else.

Like an old movie, spliced badly with many scenes missing, static cutting in to make the figure come out of the crops seemingly without moving, but suddenly closer with the broken frames.

Blank.. the film was empty as she had time only for a deep shuddering breath before it started again .. in another place...another time...another movie.

The woman ran with everything she had, bare feet leaving bloody footprints behind as the soles became raw in the flight.

She could not even scream, burning lungs struggled to breath but terrified whimpers came out with ragged gasps as she felt the axe swing inches close to a back protected only by shredded wisps of cloth.

He thundered behind her, both angered and pleased by her unexpected escape, already planning the many agonies to be inflicted in retribution and .. delight.

So close, she wept, and then the axe felled her, slicing into her thigh and making her fall. The tears were not for the pain of this wound but because it was not lethal.

As she was dragged into the nearby lifenet bunker by a foot, she knew death would not come for hours and hours.... and hours and her own screams would echo inside her mind forever.

Frames on the film seemed to stall and burn, the smoke acrid to her senses..but..

No, not the film but the smell of warm viscera pooling at her feet.  Feeling him behind her pressed tightly as his blade moved with practiced precision, carefully avoiding arteries. The odor of death on his weapons and bits of gore stuck between the spikes on his shoulders and wrists, some of it her own from previous hunts.

Gagging as she remembered the forced taste of her own leg made into a stew, then poured down her throat.

The scene snapped like an old movie reel that had been cut, she could hear the ticka ticka ticka of the film as it spun, unconnected to anything. 

Only darkness gave her any reprieve from a part of Aiidoneus that he had left behind, broken off inside her mind like a splinter and left to become infected.  Neither the Saints or Wolfy were around to cloak her with their own violence and savagery..or so she had believed.

"No! ' She said rather loudly, surprising herself with the force.

The film started again and this time showed short jerky clips of herself talking jovially with others.  Hammering away on lumber and fingers as she joined in the united effort to rebuild Hope Springs after it had been burned down... and then a ride with Iron Sights.

Nisha saw the puzzle again and this time she saw the woman she once was .. before getting caught in a cycle of nightmares.

She laughed and it was a good sound this time.




Synn's picture

 

Synn let her mind roam, as the images flicked by.  He reached and plucked out pieces and placed others.  Sorting memories and feelings as Nish ran through them, he sorted out the old and tried to fill in the spaces.  Bad memories dulled and faded, existing as phantoms in the dark.  The warmer, happier ones became more defined and longer.

After a while the image was completed.  A picture of Nisha in her Traveler gear, a slight smile on her face, and dual pistols in hand.  Her gaze was strong and firm, she appeared as a powerful fighter, yet still feminine.

“The rest is up to you dear.  Keep going… fill in the backround.”

Nisha Samara's picture

The muscles in her face relaxed as the wave of comfort and encouragement washed over her.

She nodded her head a she tried to absorb the clarity, it felt overwhelming in a way after spending so many years being haunted by the torments of her past.

Meeting his eyes she said, "I owe you a great debt for this, when you come to collect on it I will move mountains if need be and it still would not be enough."

Pausing for a moment she looked at his face that was so much like Wolfy's .. yet without that animalistic edge and all the expressiveness that went with it.

It made her sad to think of him and the emotion surprised her.

"Will he be back? Will you?"

Synn's picture

 

Synn chuckles at her words.  “Consider us even, for the kindness you showed my Brother.  You must have some gift to tame the beast within him.  I consider you a good friend for that, and my help is for him as much as you.”

 

He looks out the window and mixed emotions spread on his face.  "Our faction is a joke and needs to be managed.  I tire of us being viewed and cheap salesman or cheap guns for hire.  I will be going to Bankers to have a discussion with a few leaders, and then I plan on finding the Imposter and finishing our conversation.  You should know where you are when you wake up.  All I ask is that you be the Traveler I know you are.  Help me bring us back to the faction we were.  If you need me just call and I will meet you as soon as I can.  "

 

A sad look passes his face a moment before being replaced with his warm grin.  "As for my brother, I am sure he will be back.  However I know not when.  I have a feeling that you will know if he does before I do."

Nisha Samara's picture

"It goes the same for you, if ever you need a hand just call."

 

Nisha felt the last bit of warmth from the days setting sun on her face before she opened her eyes, she recognised the area and knew it was a short walk through the woods to a garage.

The shadows were starting to creep out from the trees and she heard the howl of a wolf in the distance, and it made her smile. After a quick search on her radio for some walking music she found a station and it just happened to be playing her favorite song. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3bhEPgu7Mc



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