[-r-] I think we both want the same thing.
[-r-] Try to find out more about our situation. Don't press too hard if she resists answering our questions.
"You know that is a question you don't have to ask." Meiling looks down at the little winged girl and crosses her arms. "It's rather simple, isn't it? We just both want the same thing." The girl's face becomes blank at her words, and Meiling thinks that she has finally broken through, or made a point. Their two situations are not so different, after all. However, as seconds tick by and she never responds, Meiling starts to grow a bit concerned. "…Are you alright? You zoned out that for a sec―"
Before she can finish speaking, Remilia slowly leans her head back and begins to laugh
. High echoing peals of gay hysterics shatter the relative quiet of the room and startle Meiling so much that she jumps away from the girl. "You… You think something like that? Oh, such a plebian
notion! That… That I… That I
of all people would desire the same that such an insignificant speck
… Ohoho… Now that
Taking another step back, Meiling just watches as the girl shakes. Remilia's relatively short hair bounces from side to side and her wings shake, the taught skin barely shivering as the long fingers that make up its structure twitch. As she is quite concerned at the reaction, Meiling automatically drops one foot back, raising her arms just slightly in case she does try to attack. "What is so funny about what I said? I merely spoke the truth…"
That sends the girl into another bout of cackles, which take nearly half a minute to subside. Once she manages to calm down, Remilia leans forward and grabs the edge of the table. Her face still covered with a manic grin, she barks out a response that rings with mocking laughter. "Oh really
? This truth… What is this truth that you speak of? You mean to say that I am the same as you? That our two goals, our two fates
would be intertwined so closely? I may have had the thoughts rotted out of my very mind, but I assure you, there is no way that such an assumption would be true."
"We would want the same…" Shaking her head, Remilia eventually tilts her body back, the crazed smile smoothly morphing into a smug one as she stares down the taller girl. "What a load of tripe and pish-posh. Verily, there is quite
little that we would want that is the same. Tell me, do you desire to bear station once more? To lord over the hordes of mongrels that call themselves your subjects?"
Meiling finds herself on her back foot once more. Prepared she may be for an exchange of fisticuffs, yet another war of words is not what she was hoping for. "Not in the least. All I want is a nice job so I can teach."
"So, a simple servant is all that you desire to be." Meiling attempts to interject and correct her, but Remilia's voice carries over top of the taller girl's. "No matter how you look like it, that is what you are. Loyal to either customer or coin is all you want. No aspirations for anything more."
Frowning just slightly, Meiling tries to defend herself from the other girl. "I am not sure what you would expect of anyone
. There is no one that rules like that anymore. Nobody who is civilized, at the least."
Jaw clenching, Remilia tries not to laugh at the other girl. "There isn't? Pray tell, there are no women like me? Human, there are always
those like me. You simply seem unaware, dumb, or naive enough to believe that they do not exist." Shaking her head, Remilia finally slides down off the table and back onto her own two feet. "And perhaps they need a firm hand telling them what to do. Pray tell, were you satisfied
with what you had on the other side? Or are you just like every single other little human she
brings in here?"
By now, Meiling has no more words to respond, and merely glares back at the vampire. The white-haired girl's lips curl up in response and she begins to stroll around the table. "I thought so. That's a pity. There is
some talent within that being of yours, but what good is it if you lack the ability to use it to its fullest degree? Help me, and I may deign to find a position for you that is proper once we are free."
"…I think I'll decline on that offer as it stands. I want not
what you are offering me now, Remilia." Still, there is a small part of her that wouldn't mind taking her up on that. Getting out of those kitchens where she has had to work so long is alluring in and of itself.
"It isn't? Pity. You do seem to have your uses, but you do not seem to use your mind enough. You would do great if you allowed me to do the thinking, then." Slowly, she turns around and begins to circle around the table. "After all, you merely want out, don't you? Or do you? You have never even said."
Not waiting for an answer, she walks to the other side of the table and leans her body against it, resting her head on her now dry gloved hands. "I do not want out, human. I want far more than that. I want to pay her back every inch of what I have been given. For every drop of water that has been run across my body, for every second of starlight I have had to endure without atmosphere to protect me, I wish to return it all tenfold to her!"
Her mouth curls into a bit of a snarl as she stares across the table and at Meiling. "That woman has heaped injustices upon my back! Deliberately injuring and antagonizing me, so that I must keep on such a simpering face when I am in her presence. She has ruined my kin, twisting her mind far worse than her curse ever did!" As Meiling watches, she not being sure whether she is too shocked or too scared to move, Remilia squeezes her fists tight. The fabric of the gloves begins to stretch under the pressure, and her nails start to puncture through the edges.
"Leaving is not merely enough, peasant. It is too deep, and too personal. You would not understand unless you have spent the years I have here, forced to be her personal play toy. No
, leaving would never
be enough." Her eyes shine brilliantly as the red in them literally begins to shine. "I will not ever be satisfied with such an ending. I want her under my boot and drinking my blood, my essence
. Then, and only
then, will I be satisfied that the creature which holds me in bondage has paid its dues!"
At that proclamation, the girl hefts one of her fists to swing down at the table. The countertop only manages to withstand the force for one second before it cracks along the middle and buckles. Her hand continues downward, splitting the piece down the middle with seemingly relative ease.
The glove protecting the hand, though, was not nearly as fortunate. Caught on the splinters of the table, her long glove had its bottom ripped apart by the shards of the table. The hand wrapped inside of it, even though it is yet partially obscured by the dangling fabric, seems to be covered with blisters and welts and burnt skin.
Even as Meiling tries to get her mouth to work again, Remilia stares at what she just did and clenches her eyes shut. "Not now… I will not
let you take… Not now. Not ever. I am better
than that, you thrice-damned animal…" She remains there, clutching at her head as she does her best to stop moving and not continue with her assault on the furniture before her. "I
am the master. Not you."
"Are… Are you alright?" Finally speaking once more, Meiling takes a few steps forward. "You look… Your hand. That's
what the water does to it?"
"Yes, you fool. Now… get out
of here!" Remilia's eyes snap open and she glares at Meiling. "Do it. Get out of my sight. Go back to that mage that you begged for directions the entire time during dinner. Or go back and try and find the mistress of this mansion. She is one more likely to enjoy the company more than I."
"Still, I need to help. Is there anything―"
!" Her wings flare up behind her as she snarls. "You do not understand me, not in the slightest. And unless you are ready to do that, you will find little here for you, peasant. Remember… what I said…" Her show of aggression dies down easily, and she looks back towards the ground. "Damn it, damn it! Keep it down…"
Knowing that there was nothing else to do, Meiling immediately turns around to the secret passage. Pressing the door open once more, she pulls it to. The last thing she sees as the door meets the jam is Remilia curling up into a ball and starting to shake in a manner that is quite familiar. Meiling says nothing as she heads back down the dark hall, wondering how badly she had messed up, and if there was even a chance she could have succeeded.
The first thing that jars you out of the trance you had sunken into was the hissing of the steam engine as it began to pump harder and harder. The drone of the engine had been steady over the hours you had spent underground, and had nearly lulled you to sleep. However, the lack of anything to do had instead left you in a daze, not tired enough to drift off into the realm of dreams nor energetic enough to bounce around the interior of the tank like a rivet blown out walls from the pressure.
Of course, Rika did explain to you that it wasn't her fault, and the tank was perfectly fine. And if you badmouth her tank you are going to regret it, so it would be best to keep silent.
That event was enough to wake you from your stupor, though, and you decided to take the opportunity to tell someone, anyone
, all of what had happened. There wasn't much else that you could have done, and having a captive audience didn't give her much of a chance quiet you. Given her reaction, you doubt that she would have done such a thing, as she was brought to sniffles by quite a few things that you shared.
Finally, you stand up and stretch your arms and wings as much as you can. The brief moments of claustrophobia had passed by, but you still would much rather be outside. At least the metal walls of the tank are a far sight from the dim rock corridors of the burrow. Although, you do have to consciously remember not to touch the hull itself.
Once you've done as best you can to pop your aching joints, or at least the joints that you have that still yet ache, you meander on towards the cockpit. Leaning over the other girl, you narrow your eyes and stare at the numbers on the screen. They still don't make too much sense, especially as she seems to have shifted them around on the thin monitor. "So, what's the deal? Are we going up?"
"Yes, we are." She turns around and glances at you. Her eyelids droop a bit on their own, as if she is close to sleep herself. "Sorry. Just a little tireeaaahd-" She breaks out into a yawn before blushing and averting her eyes. "…Sorry again. I'm just a little tired."
"I can tell." Chuckling softly, you look away from her so she may compose herself. "We've been riding for a while. I'm surprised you're not more exhausted than you are."
"Well, I was in a hurry on the way here. Stressed the engine a little too much for my liking. That's why I've been taking it easy on the way back." Glancing back, Rika idly adjusts a dial, and the engine's groaning dies down a little bit. "Besides, I did want to wait for Marisa to wake up first. We need a good meat shield if we want to survive Reimu's wrath…"
She seems to be joking, but only a little bit. It's impossible to tell if she's serious or not. However, given the number of times that she has mentioned it, there is at least some validity to her complains. "Knowing everyone's reaction so far, I was going to assume that would be me. What's a few more lasers to the chest?"
Rika snorts out loud and turns back to the console. "She won't use a laser. She's more apt to use a fist. Or a needle. Or just the nearest stick-like object she can find." Sighing, she shakes her head. "Still, let's not focus on that. Maybe we'll be lucky and get off easily."
"Something tells me there's a fat chance of that." She does not respond to disagree, so you take that to be the case. After a few more seconds, you glance back to peer at the witch in the back that is still
asleep. "Is she ever going to wake up? She's alive, but she's been out like a light ever since we got in."
"It's those mushrooms she was hopped up on. They'll keep anyone running. She's fed them to everyone at home at least once, and most of the time it's even with permission!" Sighing, she shakes her head. "Still, it's rather unlike her to be knocked out this one. Whatever concoction she brewed up, it must have been a potent one."
The tank shakes again and the grinding of the drill becomes a little louder. "We've entered the crust once more. At least we seem to have avoided most of the giant caverns under the ground." She doesn't bother explaining as she pulls another random lever she has not touched the whole time. "It shouldn't be but a few more minutes until we get to the underground entrance to our current home."
"Alright. Whatever you say." While you still have plenty of doubts about the how of burrowing so deep under the ground, you're not going to ask at the moment. Something more pertinent comes to mind instead. "So, are you going to bother to tell me anything about what to expect, or are you going to leave me hanging?"
Awkwardly laughing and rubbing the back of her neck, she eventually glances around and looks in your general direction. "I'm… I'm not the best to ask for that. I was going to wait for Marisa to wake up… She knows everyone much better than I do. They don't like us and our tradition." Rika neglects to elaborate more on the subject at hand, and she starts to turn back.
Before she goes back to watching the controls again, you clear your throat and plead for an answer. "Would it hurt to tell me what little you do know? Heck, I don't know the names
of most of the people. …Not that they'd be real names, I suppose, but they'd be names all the same." At her silence, you implore her for answers. "Please. I'd rather not walk into this blind if I can. Come on, Miss Rika."
"Miss Rika?" Snorting, she finally shrugs her shoulders. "Fine, fine
… Whatever you say, Lukie." At that, she turns around and grins at you.
Grumbling a bit, you roll your eyes. "Why are you still using that name? You know I dislike it…"
"Aww, lighten up a bit. I'm just trying to ruffle your feathers." You see a bit of a light dancing in her eyes as she snickers softly, something that is not helped when you ruffle your feathers in annoyance. "And it's working, it seems."
"That was rather uncalled for." Pointedly pulling your wings back and keeping them as restrained as you possibly can, you cross your arms and stare back down at her. "Are you going to answer?"
"Ask away. Just remember that I am driving this thing. We don't have an autopilot installed in here. So give me a moment if I don't respond."
[ ] The leader. She sounds like someone you should know about.
[ ] The changeling. Is there anything about him she could tell you?
[ ] The lunarion. Sounds like a moon person. Is she actually…?
[ ] Her sister. She hasn't spoken much of her, but you are curious.
[ ] Any others that might be there?
[ ] …Why does no one care for her tradition, whatever that is?
I was just trying to bump the thread, as I felt the update may have been buried.
Well, overall, that could have gone better. But it could have gone worse as well. No bridges are yet burnt. That's all that I'll say for now.