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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

Saito Eiji

Remington's tortured state assuaged Eiji's initial instincts for the moment... His expression melted to reflect the sense of pity that had filled him, seeing someone he had played ball with years ago crippled by their own gifts. Is this a gift? He mused to himself, as he let the door shut behind him. The way Remington's leg had twisted so unnaturally made his stomach sink, and resolved him... He took a tentative step forward, lowering his stance to lunge forward at a moment's notice; he had always been an advocate for Rem's freedom in the past, but perhaps he had been on the wrong side of history.

But could he really hand him back to Ordo Umbra?

"I see you've taken to eating exotic meats again..." he chastised, lowering his digits far enough to gingerly draw a small shell-case from his pocket. A gentle shake of it infront of him produced a metallic jingling. Sedatives weren't the best tool for subduing someone like Rem, as many Umbra operatives had discovered in the past. Something about his aberrant physiology dampened the effects of them so much that it tended to let whatever else was in him at the time have free reign over his body.

"I have an idea," Eiji started, extracting one of the thin silver injectors from the case. The acrid gray fluid that swirled inside of it was potent enough to knock out a third-stage lycanthrope and reduce them to a snoring puddle of drool. "But you'll have to trust me, yeah?"

Every step he took further cemented his tension... He didn't want to alarm Remington's more unstable passenger, but he needed to be close enough to intercept him if he decided to chew another rodent into gristle.

"Let it take you over, and then I'll inject you... Maybe, just maybe, it will put it to sleep instead of you. Garcia's here, so he can patch up whichever one of us is worse off after this." A wry grimace claimed his visage. "I won't let him say anything about you being here, I promise."
December 31, 2018 08:15 pm

Remington Agnes

Remington bit back a heated retort - something about needing variety, most likely - that was nothing more than a product of his pain. He should gracefully accept Eiji’s scolding tone, considering their current predicament and his own pleas for assistance. He should, but he was also bequeathed with something his father always affectionately referred to as Greek pride. It was the foundation of his confidence, and what kept him certain that he could live a normal life, despite the many, many failures telling him he was a danger.

A mismatched gaze followed Eiji’s trailing fingers, and what he pulled from his pocket procured an involuntary groan from the man. Flashbacks of the early stages of that particular viscosity, moving thick and gelatinous through his veins, sucked all hope from the forefront of his mind. Too many times, he’d been danced across the brink of death, unable to wake and feed himself and transform. Because that was his curse; how easy, it seemed and so they thought, to just stamp out the danger by feeding the child a vegan diet. No animal proteins meant no added DNA that was capable of intermingling with his own, thus, eliminating the fear of b@stardized mixes resulting in an often fearsome beast.

But, no. The gene - theorized to have been present throughout history, albeit rarely - had mutated and adapted, arising the need for animal intake. Should Rem ignore his carnivorous needs, his body would give out; muscle mass would decrease until it was almost nonexistent, his organs would begin failing, and his blood, strangely, turned to sludge. An unpleasant death, to put it lightly.

So, means such as the tranquilizer in Eiji’s hand had been invented. And Rem had been their personal guinea pig. Not that he blamed them, really; he felt better knowing that people he’d grown up with, like Eiji, that faced beasts alike and different from him every day had access to such weapons. It was often safer for the opposition, as well, as he could attest to in more than one instance.

This potentially being a prime example.

The mention of Dr. Garcia shot his eyes wide and set his heart to thumping. The man had always been good to him, as one of his main practitioners, and Rem had grown fond of him. But just hearing the name so closely involved in Ordo Umbra evoked a sense of panic in him that almost killed his resolve. Almost.

Eiji offered his word, and Rem searched his face, as if hoping to find a hint of a lie that would give him reason to distrust him. He couldn’t, though, and he knew that. This man, as long as he’d known him, had only ever given him the truth, no matter how disheartening. This would be no different.

Rem nodded, a grateful smile touching his eyes. A silent prayer went skyward to whatever would hear; Should one of us get hurt, let it be me. Much like fainting, or even going to sleep, Rem handed off control, warning Remi to back off before slipping into unconsciousness...

Before the body could slump even infinitesimally, the eyes widened in alarm. In an impossibly quick instant, the animal recognized the danger it was in and took steps to remedy the situation. Scrambling up the side of the nearest ledge, it perched itself on the cement, apparently unaware of the foreign body it currently controlled. As it poised to take off, the broken leg gave out, and Rem’s body crumpled and began to slip over the edge.
January 01, 2019 02:07 pm

Saito Eiji

Eiji cursed his stiff reflexes as Remington passed his consciousness over to the bird... He might have been sharp enough to close the distance before he had the opportunity to jolt away, had he not still been acclimating to living again. Adrenaline flooded his senses once he saw Rem fold over the ledge, driving him to snap forward to catch him. Every deity he had ever looked to received his thanks once his fingers snagged ahold of fabric.

"Don't struggle!" shouted the exorcist, enervated and willfully ignorant to the fact that a bird might not have understood his demand. He lilted over the ledge after him, struggling to shift his weight and draw him back up. Bracing his knee against the stonework, he grit his teeth and pulled with every ounce of his strength, cursing every time a crooked "wing" battered his face while trying to find purchase in the air.

As he drew him upwards, thrashing and biting every moment, he grasped an arm and shifted back, sinking the point of the syringe into his bicep; not the best place to inject, but he didn't have many other options with such a wild target. The ichor wouldn't set into his muscles for atleast another minute, maybe two. Enough time to deter another escape attempt.

Tumbling across the rooftop they careened with the momentum of Eiji's pull, falling far enough from one another that Remington would have a moment's lead... But Eiji scrambled to his feet first, and rounded on him swiftly enough to pin down his mistreated arm, and drive him back down onto the ground. He glanced down to Rem's already swollen leg, advertising the severity of the break... He'd do his best to avoid it while wrestling against the hawk's reckless flailing.

It's gonna be fvcking tofu for a month after this...
February 10, 2019 01:03 pm

Remington Agnes

For a moment, the hawk was convinced it was flying, arms flapping futilely as an exultant, guttural cry emanated from the shared throat. It was an odd grating noise, as human vocal chords are not privy to the proud screeching of raptors, but the bird didn't seem to mind. That is, not until it registered its stationary limbo in the air, and the calls turned to an agitated fanfare. Should anyone have looked up into the looming depths of the sky, an odd picture would have been painted for them.

With a sudden lurch, the pair careened to the roof's unforgiving surface, both sustaining scrapes and bruises along the way. The creature momentarily dazed, Eiji was afforded the chance he needed to regain control, and as he landed, it would protest. Loudly.

Flailing limbs eventually stilled as the mismatched gaze finally turned hazy and drifting. Another minute, and eerie calm settled over them, belying the struggle mere seconds ago...

He remembered this feeling.

It was so much heavier now, though whether that was from going so long without it or simply a stronger dosage was hard to pinpoint. Not that he tried hard; Rem was much too addled for such trivial assessments.

Instead, he came to with a pounding headache and the soft sound of humming. "Please, I'm begging you, shut the fvck up..." Too late, he realized the song was in his own head, though she did cease the noise-making, if not a bit begrudgingly.

With all the grace God gave a turnip, he would bring himself to shift, only managing a slight jostling of his leg before a pained hiss settled him back against the pillows. Rem lapsed back into a state of near unconsciousness, the heady drug still taking its toll. Another quarter hour passed before he harnessed enough energy to open his blue eye and assess the room.

Thankfully, they were alone.

Both eyes fell to his old friend this time, something passing as a smile - or a grimace - touching his lips. "What's the damage?" He wasn't referring to his leg. "Locking me up and throwing away the key?"
April 04, 2019 06:10 pm
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