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Playing with Food


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Remington Agnes

“Thanks again, man, I appreciate it.”

The door closed, and Rem was tearing into the brown packaging instantly. In its confines was the naked body of a bird, cleaned, fresh, and pink. He bent his head down to it, sniffing hungrily. A hum of anticipation followed.

Mhmm. It’s a beautiful bird, too.
‘That guy seems shady.’
He sells exotic meats on the black market, Remi, did you expect an upstanding member of society?

Her response could only be described as a derisive sound of disgust. She was ignored.

Forty-five minutes later, Rem placed his one meal of the day into the oven, beautifully surrounded by oiled and seasoned vegetables. A tsk sound echoed in his head, not of his own creation, and he rolled his mismatched eyes. “Let me enjoy things,” he muttered, to no one in particular.

But first, matcha, to promote healthy digestion. And meditation, to promote his evening going well...

Hours later, he trekked through the woods toward his fortress of solitude. His stomach gurgled in that uncomfortable way it always did, but the particular shroud in his mind was new. Rem had never tried hawk before, and was hoping it would yield some interesting results.

He was weighing all possible outcomes when a movement in the underbrush had his head tearing to the side. Eyes, oddly focused, zeroed in on a small rodent foraging for food, and his mouthed watered. Realizing the implications of such a reaction, his gait quickened.

The abandoned stone fixture came into view, but he wasn’t quite relieved. The bird of prey was growing more insistent of his place in their now shared psyche, and Remington wasn’t aptly prepared to deal with relinquishing even a bit of control.

Inside, the setting sun cast its last rays through the rafters, setting alight the dust and insects and small creatures that he consistently shared the night with. A few ghostly pillars rose to the ceiling, but otherwise, it was eerily empty. Perfect.

The chain in the middle of room was HSLA grade steel, and it was only when he closed the shackle around his ankle that he felt safe.

He breathed, clearing his head.

‘Don’t be nervous.’

So much easier said than done.

All possible thought processes accounted for, three in total, he mentally opened the floor.

The high-spirited animal had a prideful mindset, and it made itself known in their mentality immediately. Breathing a sigh, eyes closed, Rem would attempt to meld with it, finding where its give and take were, and adjusting accordingly. When he would find his sight again, it was different; his pupils had changed, taking on the shape of a hawk’s, and with it, their excellent vision. “Interesting,” he mused.

Then came the uncomfortable part.

The bones in his arms began to bend and change shape, hollowing out to allow for air to pass through. The hairs gave way to thick-quilled feathers that stretched his pores to allow their growth. Before long, he was adorned with a large pair of wings protruding seamlessly from his shoulders.

“Very interesting.”

His ponderings gave the bird ample opportunity to seize its chance, and against his own will, he launched into the air. They ascended in a rocky fashion, his body not conducive for skilled flight, and he gritted his teeth as they wrestled psychologically.

Shakily, he managed to land them on one of the rafters. Only when his feet were firmly planted would he let out a nervous, if not exhilarated, laugh.

‘Don’t get c0cky.’
You have to admit, it’s kind of cool.
‘Yes, well—‘

Suddenly, his eyes honed in on a mouse, scuttling across the cement some thirty feet below. Before he had time to react, they were in a nosedive.

There was no time to both regain control and slow the momentum, so to keep from careening face first into the ground, he settled for the former...

...and managed to right himself so that he landed roughly on his leg. Really roughly. So roughly, that he instantly folded and rolled six or seven times before being forcibly stopped by the wall.

His vision went dark....

‘Rem. Rem. RemRemRemRem.’

His consciousness reawakened just as his teeth crunched down on the skull of the mouse. The blood and matter squirted gruesomely into his mouth, and Rem instantly convulsed and spit the carnage out, sputtering and wiping his tongue as best he could.

I swear, if I f*cking turn into a rat because of this...
‘I think you have bigger fish to fry...’

Remi couldn’t even finish the statement before he was overcome with the searing pain in his leg. He sank down the wall, the wings at odd angles as they tried to form to his foreign body. “Oh, no, no, no... what the f*ck am I going to do...”


“I can’t stay in a hospital,” he growled, out loud, feeling his grasp on the helm weaken as the pain ravaged him.

‘You don’t have a choice. The bird and I are taking you to a hospital.’

He couldn’t even argue before he slipped into unconsciousness again.

Remington was displaced out of his comfortable slumber from his own mind by another crash landing. A multitude of groans had him rested against a slab of brick protruding out of the roof they collided with. Internally, he fumed.

‘Look, I’m sorry. I won’t even ask for a thanks for fighting with your dumb@ss bird brain.’
I cannot be here, Remi. How did you even get the shackle off?

His left arm, having reverted back to its natural state in the descent, flopped without his willing it. Anger disregarded, he considered the implications and was sorely thankful that, should he be rendered out of commission, she could take over, to a degree.

Much better than a scattered bird brain, in any case.

His leg pulsed angrily, and though Rem was used to pain, he was reminded that this was a dangerous injury.

‘You’re panicking.’

“Am I? Am I f*cking panicking?” His elevated heart rate was all he needed to know the obvious, and though he felt the internal sigh, it made him no less irritated.

Conveniently, there was a door attached to the wall he was currently using as support, but trying the handle was useless. With no help for it, he simply started pounding on it, wondering if this would be his demise. The multiple worst case scenarios that this could end in only accelerated the beating of his panicked heart.

More than anything, he feared all the people he would hurt before this was over.
September 20, 2018 03:44 pm

Saito Eiji


Doctor Garcia adjusted his glasses as a myriad gleaming points of data scrolled down the monitor. Garcia had been Eiji's appointed physician for the majority of his tenure with Ordo Umbra... He was still the same stout, bent-nosed gnome he had always been. Except, ever since he was a young man, he had never failed to be raucous and jovial during a check-up. One couldn't expect him to be, Eiji mused to himself. This physical was anything but routine.

"What does it mean?" Eiji chided, having swiftly grown annoyed with the doctor's recess. "I feel fine."

"You are fine. That's what's fascinating." Garcia retorted, giving him a long stare. His whiskers shuffled beneath his knobbed nose, as a look that girdled surprise and confusion claimed his features. "Your signature disappeared from the MIMIR system for more than a month... You died Eiji, and you're sitting here, with a pulse and elevated sodium levels."

Eiji lifted himself from the vinyl hospital bed, having heard what he needed to know. The upper echelons of Umbra were in a stir over his apparent resurrection and had submitted him to a litany of psychological evaluations, before ultimately reinstating him as an operator for the organization. These sorts of things weren't unheard of amongst their numbers, but was rare enough a phenomenon that the afflicted were paid special attention... As it had been explained to him, there were atleast three others that had been plucked free from the void.

"I'll stay away from the instant ramen for a while," he quipped. "Promise."

He tuned out the resulting chiding from the doctor, and instead honed in on the distant banging above. It was rhthymic, perpetual, almost frantically paced... Without so much as a wave he'd leave the office, a distinct prickling sensation rising at the base of his skull... It was a feeling he had been far too familiar with, a sensation that had been an unending reminder of his stolen comrade. The world had been silent since he'd awoken, and the tingling represented a vibration that he would gravitate towards, like a moth to flame.

The door beckoned to him. Each thud, ever weakening in its cadence, made his shoulders tense and his neck tighten. Every step was punctuated by another pound upon the door, another bullet loosed from his chamber that day. The face of his killer flashed in his peripherals with each illusory muzzleflash, staring him down, taunting him. The exorcist's pupils tightened as his pulse thrummed. Every ounce of rage he felt in that moment was suddenly filling him again, swirling in his gut, making the invisible scars on his visage scream white-hot.

The lock disengaged with a tired 'clunk', and the door pushed forward into the open air.

November 09, 2018 11:22 pm

Remington Agnes


Shock painted his countenance, and his arm floated limply in the air, forgotten in mid-knock. Perhaps not the last person he expected to see in this random hospital, Rem was still rendered speechless in the face of this meeting. Wracking his brain, he couldn't recall the last time he'd seen the exorcist, a fact made markedly more clear by a few newly obtained scars visible on his old friend.

"Wha... What are you doing here?" Regaining his composure, his inflection dropped with concern as he processed the look of untethered rage that Eiji had appeared with. "Are you alright?" They'd known each most of their lives, and not once could Rem recall such a look...

'Careful, Rem... Don't forget who he is, and who he works for...'
He's my friend, and I trust him.

Remi quieted, though he could still feel her uncertainty in the back of his mind. Or was it his own? Too often, he couldn't decipher the two.

Torn from the quick reverie, he mentally kicked himself for his lapse in judgment; he'd forgotten the third party in his shared consciousness. Concern for Eiji had taken precedence over his delicate situation, leaving room for the animal to regain control. Before he could stop himself, his legs flipped beneath and around him, feet planting on the wall so as to project his entire being across the roof of the building after an expertly sighted mouse. The pain clouded his mind. Once again, he came to just in time to stop himself from consuming a rodent, bones and all.

His breathing was labored as he tossed the expired creature aside. Rem shut his eyes as he attempted to push through the agony that was his leg protesting everything that had just happened, effectively - and conveniently - preventing him from reading any kind of reaction Eiji might have had. Ordo Umbra thought him unstable and incapable, and he wasn't currently making the best case for himself.

When he finally opened his eyes, it was to land a pleading look on the only hope he had in such a dire situation. "I need your help..." The implications were heavy in his tone.
November 16, 2018 08:30 pm
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