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Beginning of the end

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1 Beginning of the end on Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:52 pm

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No one can recall dates any longer. Help was coming, they had promised. Who wouldn't believe the promise made to by the brightest minds of the time to the richest families of the time? It had been long enough now that the original citizens of Rapture now had young adult grandchildren. The city had been built just for them. Their lavish playground, or so they liked to believe. It was many years now since anything had been truly 'lavish', it was only as the joy now made them see it; glorious and delightfully decadent.

Some families considered themselves better than others, and rightly so. Few had the money and the power, while the many lived in squalor. One of these families were the Jansen's. The eldest son had two beautiful daughters, who in the society they had left would no doubt have been attendees of many parties and balls, all for the purpose of finding a husband. As it stood, the youngest girl seemed the most adept at wearing her mask. By day she was the spoiled little princess she was supposed to be, making fun of the lower classes and generally being a horrible person. But as night fell and her joy pill began to wear off... She often thought of life outside her parent's massive apartment, of life in the 'workers' levels of the city. Anika Jansen would fall asleep troubled by the things her imagination thought up. It was this particular night that she had finally plucked up the courage to slip out of her parent's home, though of course she would stand out a mile in her expensive clothing and perfect make up.

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31 Re: Beginning of the end on Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:12 pm

Anika had genuinely assumed the man her parents intended for her to marry was simply another rich snob, not a goblin king in some strange land. The young woman had resisted talk of the union at every chance, screaming until she was blue that she should not be expected to marry a man she had never even met. All of that seemed trivial now as she walked through this forest alone, certain she could hear whispers all around her.

"My garden is exactly where it should be." The king replied. As first glance his eyes seemed to be an icy blue in colour, but every now and then, for the briefest of moments, they almost looked crimson. "You cannot blame the roses for your clumsiness, girl. Least of all when you trespass to a place you were not invited."

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32 Re: Beginning of the end on Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:27 pm

Elliot followed behind her, knowing the if he didn't keep her safe he would die. Not to mention he wanted to find out more about this strange girl. She was to be his queen, why shouldn't he?

"I was trying to find my sister, thank you very much." Victoria pushed her disheveled hair behind her ears and tried to look away. She was turning the pill over and over in her fingers. "Some weird man dragged her into the river. When I tried to stop him by grabbing his coat tail I was taken into the..." she stopped speaking, knowing her story sounded crazy. She put the pill to her lips, hoping to show that everything would be fine once she took it.

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33 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:02 am

Anika was chastising herself as she stumbled through the trees, her long hair getting caught on several finger like branches as she went. It almost felt like these trees were purposefully trying to halt her advancement.

"Weird man?" The king echoed, and though he smiled he was making a silent note to punich Elliott for being so careless. "And where is your sister now, then?"

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34 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:04 pm

Elliot nodded to the trees as he passed, smiling ever so slightly. He was watching the future queen, trying hard not to think about how lovely she looked in the moonlight. Thoughts like that would get him in trouble.

Victoria frowned down at her hand, surprised to find the pill gone. She was sure she'd had it... 
"I don't know." She said finally, turning away from the king to look toward the garden wall. She'd have to climb it to get away. She hated climbing, especially in a dress. 
Without warning she turned and ran, her gut telling her that Anika would be found in the woods beyond.

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35 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:06 pm

Anika was completely lost in the trees now. Her long dress had snagged on several branches, or more fittingly it seemed like they had actually grabbed her. The young woman now simply sat on the ground, staring forlornly at nothing.

The king smiled, leaning on his ornate cane as he watched Victoria flee. It had been sometime since anyone had ran from him. He quite enjoyed games, and following this young woman would be a most interesting one.

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36 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:00 pm

Elliot changed his form back to his human one, believing that Anika would be more comfortable with it. Quietly he sat down beside her, drawing strange designs in the dirt. "Why did you run? Isn't this everything you've been dreaming about since you were small?" 

Victoria yanked herself over the wall, tossing rose petals out of her hair as she went. The rose bushes themselves seemed to sag at her departure. They hadn't bloomed until the arrival of the two girls.

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37 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:23 pm

Anika watched the designs for some moments before lifting her violet gaze to look at Elliott. "I dreamed of this place because I wanted freedom, not to be chained to a king I have never met." She whispered, her voice filled with sorrow at the mere thought.

The king walked through towards the wall, the bricks seeming to pull apart and create an archway at no more than his will. He only did this after giving Victoria what he considered an ample head start.

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38 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:36 pm

"How do you know he's going to chain you up?" Elliot asked. "He's been talking about you since as long as I can remember. I can't imagine after everything we have been through just to get you here that he would destroy you. A caged bird is an ugly thing, little one."

"Ani!" Victoria tossed off her shoes off and plunged into the woods. She gathered up her skirts, ducking through the grabbing branches. She paid very little attention to whether the branches were alive or not.

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39 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:46 pm

"I never asked to be married... I never wanted that." Anika whispered. "That was Victoria's wish, marriage freed her from the responsibility my parents gave her of looking after me." She added, tucking some of her raven hair behind her ear. "I wanted adventure... Freedom."

"Ani..." The whispering voices Anika had sworn she could hear were now speaking directly to her sister, taunting her by simply echoing her shouts back to her.

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40 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:03 pm

Elliot gave a soft snort, knowing what she meant. He couldn't remember the last time he'd done something because he simply wanted to. "As Queen you will have the power to create freedom. Isn't that enough?" He asked finally.

Victoria paused, looking around her. The whispers were familiar. She'd heard them in the shadows and in her dreams. Once again she opened her pendant to pull out a joy pill. The whispers went away when she had her joy.

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41 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:12 pm

"As Queen, I would still have to serve a king." Anika pointed out sadly. "If I ever did wish to marry, shouldn't it be because I choose it, not because it was chosen for me? That is no kind of freedom."

"What does blindness taste like?" The king's voice breathed into Victoria's ear, though he was nowhere in sight.

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42 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:21 pm

"What a silly thing to say." Elliot laughed softly, brushing the dark hair out of his ice colored eyes. "You would never want or fear anything again. You'd have a protector...a lover...anything you wanted him to be. I can imagine it is hard to find one on your own, but a king. You'd never get another offer like that. You'll end up like your sister, stuck in a passionless world with nothing but those happy pills to give you comfort."

Victoria turned so fast she dropped the pill she was holding. Though she didn't see the king she saw glimmers of things moving in the shadows. They were tiny figures, more like beasts than children. "You are not frightening me, sir." She said firmly, opening her necklace for another pill. "Leave me be!"

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43 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:31 pm

Anika stared sadly at Elliott for a long moment before a heavy sigh passed her ruby lips. "What if that is exactly what I want?" She whispered, having leaned a little closer. "I would rather live a passionless life, than be stuck in a passionless marriage." She pointed out. "It would seem even a stranger thinks me incapable of winning a man's heart all by myself, without the shroud of magic." Looking rather pointedly at Elliott now.

The king's velvet soft laughter could be heard on the wind when Victoria assumed he was trying to frighten her. "Have you ever considered that perhaps little Ani wishes to be free from you? This is her destiny, Victoria. She was given to me the moment she was born."

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44 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:45 pm

"I don't believe that a man has a heart. I don't believe in passion or love. They simply do not exist. And why should they? You are being foolish." Elliot frowned at her. "Magick is the only thing that's real." One of his drawings sprang to life, showing her a tiny dancing ballerina made out of nothing but dirt that glowed an icy blue.

"Ani has spent her life trying to run from me. I've always been there for her. I'm not going to give up now." Victoria promised, her fingers on another pill. "You are touched in the head, sir. You cannot have what is not given to you." This time the pill made it past her lips. She would stop the voice and the whispering shadows. For Anika's sake she had to.

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45 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:50 pm

"You say that because you come from a loveless world of magick." Anika breathed, a slender finger reaching out for the tiny dancer. "As someone from my world... And they will tell you magick is for children."

"Anika was given to me by your grandmother, with you father's blessing." The king breathed, ghostly lips brushing Victoria's ear before all seemed to suddenly go silent. Even the hag like trees seemed to grow still.

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46 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:58 pm

"is that because children do not love?" Elliot asked. The tiny dancer collapsed into nothing, as if it had never been there at all. "They can see us you know. Perhaps that's why they don't love. They know how things really are." 

Vicotoria stayed where she was for a full minute, taking in deep breaths. It was gone. Just like it should be. Her grandmother had given her the first dose after her sister had been born. She'd said it meant she wasn't worthy. She wasn't sure what she was unworthy of but these pills made her not care. She only cared when the world was dark and she was alone in her room. 
"Anika!" She finally forced herself to move, shouting her sister's name almost angrily. That girl was always getting them in trouble.

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47 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:17 pm

"And how are they?" Anika asked seriously, finding herself simply staring into Elliott's ice blue eyes.

That much was true, as the younger sister grew, word had gotten round that she was the Goblin King's chosen bride. All manner of creatures attempted to steal the small girl until one day her grandmother introduced both girl's to their 'joy'. Both girls forgot all about magick, about goblins and wishes. If they didn't believe, nothing could directly touch them. That, of course, didn't mean trouble didn't still search for them.

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48 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:33 pm

"They can see the twisted darkness for what it really is. They see the monster under the bed. They don't have to search for joy." Elliot breathed, leaning extremely close to Anika. 
"Ani!" Victoria barked, stomping toward them. "Get away from him! These people are crazy. We need to get home before father loses his mind!"

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49 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:47 pm

The sound of her sister's voice seemed to jerk Anika's back from where she was simply falling into Elliott's gaze. The younger girl exhaled heavily, causing some of her hair to waft up out of her face. "Father only worries he will lose whatever wealth he was promised for selling me to this king!" She huffed. "We both know you are his favourite, Tori."

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50 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:06 pm

"Don't be stupid. There is no king. These people are obviously off their joy. Downers, Anika!" Victoria insisted. "Get up. We need to go home. Father is going to have my head for losing you. Even for a minute." She tried to haul her sister to her feet and simply ended up dragging her backward. "When did you last take your joy? Your eyes...Ani, we are going to be in so much trouble!"

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51 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:12 pm

Anika smiled sadly at her sister, slender fingers gently touching the other girl's smooth cheek. "You're so beautiful..." she breathed, as though seeing it for the first time. "You should go home and marry Sebastian, he's in love with you, you know."

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52 Re: Beginning of the end on Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:52 pm

"Sebastian is...not for me." Victoria muttered before shaking her head. "Ani...take your pill. If you think I'm beautiful you are seriously downing." 

Elliot got to his feet, frowning at the elder girl. Could she not see the king standing near her? "Just how much of that pill is she on?" He asked, seeming like he was speaking to himself.

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53 Re: Beginning of the end on Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:59 am

"If you weren't the favourite, they would have sold you." Anika pointed out. "You were always ti most beautiful, and the most perfect."

"Too much." The king snorted. "She's no more than a drugged up protector. This was the one they thought capable of protecting my Queen?"

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54 Re: Beginning of the end on Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:30 pm

"The ones with worth are sold. The others are kept behind to breed more. You remember that from when grandmother raised puppies." Victoria was tired and she was tired of talking. Her sister knew nothing. She'd been kept oblivious to her grandmother's ideas. "Let's go home. These people are really getting on my nerves." She turned her head, narrowing her eyes at Elliot. 

The goblin man didn't even look at her but kept talking in a hushed tone. "Amalie drugged them. To keep them from knowing their destiny and searching for it, she made the joy. How it got out to the general public...I have no idea."

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55 Re: Beginning of the end on Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:28 pm

Anika shook her head insistently. "I like it here." she breathed. "At least... I will If I'm not forced to marry that king." she added, blissfully unaware her future husband was no more than a few feet away.

"She probably leaked it herself, for the coin." The king snorted rather haughtily. "Just grab the tall one, and we shall take them both back to the castle. It's no fun if they don't play the game."

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56 Re: Beginning of the end on Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:33 pm

Victoria sighed softly. "All right. We'll figure this out. Anything has to be better than going home. But for now...let's figure or where to get some rest. Okay?" She smiled gently at her sister, already trying to fix everything. 

Elliot smiled, nodding to his king. "I've got this, sire. No worries."

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57 Re: Beginning of the end on Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:37 pm

This seemed to appease Anika somewhat and she gingerly took her sister's hand. "Who's he?" She asked, gesturing to the king that Victoria couldn't see right then.

"I can trust you, Elliott." The king agreed, even he knew nothing of the blossoming feelings between his right hand man, and future bride.

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58 Re: Beginning of the end on Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:17 pm

Victoria turned her head, able to see the tall man through the haze. She frowned deeply at him. "That man is insane. Pay him no mind." She snorted, turning Anika away.
"Ladies, please. I believe we got off on the wrong foot." Elliot said gently, stepping away from the king. "If you will allow me, I have a place you can rest."

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59 Re: Beginning of the end on Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:24 pm

The king was smiling as he leaned on his cane, watching his underling lead the two women away. It wasn't yet apparent, but Victoria was the one he watched. Already his brain was insisting that the wayward canary that had been gifted to him was not the Queen who could keep control of his ever changing kingdom.
"Am I supposed to trust that this place is safe?" Anika asked as she walked beside Elliott, seemingly much more at ease in this place than Victoria. "By your word alone? Will these be food? Will you taste the food first?"

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60 Re: Beginning of the end on Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:43 pm

Victoria couldn't help but laugh at her sister. The younger woman always thought of food first. Never mind that they could be raped and murdered in their sleep; was there going to be tea and cakes? She cast a glance over her shoulder again, able to see the king clearly now. 

"I will make the food for you personally if that will help?" Elliot asked, nodding to a young goblin woman as they passed her. "And for now, my word will have to do. You have seen already that i'm not going to hurt you. Right?"

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