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Discussion in 'Refract Valley' started by MaximumRose, Apr 29, 2017.

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  1. MaximumRose

    MaximumRose Member

    Oct 11, 2016
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    If you were a Refract Valley citizen then you received a personal message this morning.

    “Due to the destruction of a driving force of this community, Refract Valley will be closed until further notice. There will be no further notice. You have two weeks to remove your personal possessions from the Valley and then it will be closed to all teleportation. No new teleportation codes will be accepted. You will be compensated with two weeks of pay after the termination of your employment and you will not be required to pay rent for those two weeks. Raybina Primfeather and Zephyr Tinkertoy will not be taking questions.”

    There are some videos attached to the message, and they’re viewable and shareable. The only title on the video is ‘please share’.

    It begins in the Civic Center. A little pink nova, no taller than a child, her corona in pigtails tied up with ribbons, is sitting on the floor. The ribbons match her dress, where she has a little rainbow pin, and on her feet are rain boots that look far to big for her little self. She has no understanding of decorum in her dress, and she is lazily upright, legs splayed in strange directions, for she has no bones, tendons, or muscles to stretch. Her light is as bright and happy as it always is.

    Across from her is a little floran. The same height, with foliage that fluffs out in every direction, and it ascends to the same level as the nova’s pigtailed corona. Her foliage and leaves are a strangely radioactive pink, too bright for natural plantlife, and her skin is a vibrant blue. She is wearing minimal covering made of what looks to be moss. She sits with her knees pressed into her chest, ready to extend the muscles in her legs and run at any moment.

    They roll a large ball back and forth. Each time the ball rolls to the little nova she catches it and says something. Then she pushes the ball away it is sent back to the floran, and the floran repeats what was said, sometimes needing a little encouragement.

    “This is a ball.” says little Mairi, pushing the soft foam ball off towards her companion.

    “Thisssss is a ball.” Says the little pink floran, looking at Mairi with large open eyes. With nods and some cheering, Rosie breaks into a smile and rolls the foam ball back to her adoptive ‘sister’. Mairi praises Rosie again before rolling the ball.

    “Very good! Very good Rosie!” Mairi says, her voice bouncing along with her pigtails as she nods up and down. Her perfectly rectangular brand almost folds over in an optical illusion as she does this. “Ready?” She asks, tapping the ball five times with her tiny gassy hands.

    The floran nods, and they begin again.

    “This is a foam ball. It rolls.” Mairi says, testing the waters to see how fast she can teach.

    “Thissss is a fo-bo. Rollsssss!” says the little floran, looking rather pleased with herself.

    Mairi giggles and prepares to repeat the action. “This is a foam ball!” she repeats again, over emphasizing the the ‘m’

    Behind the little floran is a purple nova, Annie, whose light dims considerably as Rossse mispronounces the sentence. She shakes her head and stands, hands steepling in their usual way as she steps closer. She crouches next to the floran, her long corona pooling on the floor as lowers herself. Her hands separate as one reaches forward for the girls little plant hand and the other reaches into a pocket of her dress. She pulls out a straight pin, the kind Mairi uses to set clothing during tailoring.

    From behind the camera somewhere you hear the voice of a male nova, deep and strong, shouting out.

    “Hey!” he calls, but he’s too late, and the scene unfolds anyway.

    Annie uses one hand to arrange the pin and prick her finger in a move she’s done a hundred times. You can tell she’s done it a hundred times because Rosie stares in horror as she does so and tries to wrench her blue hand away.

    “No! Pleeeeeasssse!” She cries, tears filling her large floran eyes. “Rosssse will be good!” she tries to bargain.

    But the nova is too strong.

    She pulls the little hand closer as she lets the pin drop, and the room echoes a loud squealing sound as nova gas begins to escape Annie’s index finger. Rossse tries to struggle and Mairi begins to scramble to her feet. Heavy booted footfalls and the clickety clack of talons on the floor can be heard from behind the camera, getting louder and indicating someone is moving closer. None of this matters though, as she presses her pierced finger against the little blue palm of the girl in front of her.

    The size of the Civic Center means many people can spend time there, but it also means that Zephyr and Raybina are too far away to save Rosie from what’s happening.

    “This will make you better.” Says the purple nova calmly, as the pain receptors in Rosie’s hand finally get in contact with her brain. The poor child begins to scream, and her hand bursts into flame for a quick moment.

    Rossse doesn’t take this abuse easily, and Annie is soon surprised by her wards new resilience as suddenly Rosie’s teeth latch onto her shoulder. With a wet tearing sound, Rosie rips her face away with a chunk of Annie’s dress, and a wad of purple membrane. Rosie’s face is slightly burned but she pulls back out of the aim of the venting gas fast enough that she is saved.

    Annie falls to her side on the ground and soon Zephyr is on her, the large blue nova quickly pulling patches out of the pockets of his blue jeans and trying to apply them. He’s so focussed on Annie he doesn’t see Mairi moving towards Rosie to try to help her.

    Mairi crawls towards her ‘sister’ who is snarling and shaking her face back and forth, mouth full of oozing plasma and white fabric from Annie’s dress. She presses her badly burned hand against the scar on her stomach. She’s gone completely savage.

    Mairi doesn’t see this, Mairi sees her hurt sister and tries to move closer. Raybina isn’t fast enough to stop it.

    As Mairi approaches Rossse continues to snarl and hiss, dropping the dress and membrane out of her mouth. Her eyes focus on Mairi and her predatory eyes widen. She snaps once in Mairi’s direction.

    Mairi hesitates but keeps moving closer, which is her mistake. The second her corona is in range it is snatched by the florans good hand, and she is hauled in with incredible strength and speed. With no thought or understanding of what she’s doing, Rosie chomps down.

    On Mairi’s brand.

    Zephyr is finished with Annie and immediately sends Rosie reeling with a hard kick to the face. She begins to seep sap and her face looks badly broken. The large blue nova takes out his gun and immediately shoots her. His aim is accidentally impeccable, and the wound in her stomach reopens in a stroke of horrible luck. She tries to scurry away but doesn’t get more than a few feet, passing out as sap flows like honey from her stomach.

    The poor dying floran gets no attention. She knows not what she’s done but she gets no comfort. If she were conscious she would see that she was clearly not as valued as the little nova, because they don’t cast a second glance at the little floran as she begins to, essentially, bleed out on the floor.

    Zephyr gets the patch onto Mairi quickly and both of them think she’s going to be fine but then Zephyr smooths his hands over the patch after applying it, an ‘eee’ing Mairi being pinned by Raybina, and his hand catches. He vents for a second or two as the tiny scratch heals itself but that isn’t what has him alarmed.

    Mairi’s brand is not, or was not, sharp. It should not have been at any sort of angle before that could possibly have opened his membrane.

    Zephyr goes stock still as he realizes the implications of this, the possibility of disaster in front of him. He looks to Raybina and knows by her watering eyes that she understands as well. He leans forward and tries to calmly run his gassy blue fingers over the edges of Mairi’s brand. He freezes.

    It’s bent.

    The two try to calm down and continue caring for Mairi. She is making her ‘eee’ noise. Zephyr reasons that that is a good sign. Raybina isn’t thinking about that as she calls Tetsaiga, and moves to put pressure on the spreading wound in Rossse. Zephyr finishes and sits Mairi up. She is still ‘eee’ing but she is not rocking. She is not trying to touch the patch on her face. She is not flapping. Zephyr’s light becomes so dim that it almost isn’t there at all, and his brand ceases in it’s usual floating.

    “Hey, little lightnin’ bug. Do you want to read a book with me and Mama?” He says as Tetsaiga comes in to take over for her with Rosssse. The hylotl and a nurse soon debart with Annie and Rosie in turn. Zephyr, Mairi, and Raybina are left.
    Raybina and Zephyr watch Mairi for almost two agonizing minutes before they both brighten up, Zephyr literally, when they hear her say.

    “I want to read Goodnight Moon.”

    Her tiny voice rings through the Civic Center and Raybina sobs in relief and gathers little Mairi up in her arms, Zephyr sitting next to the two and wrapping his arms around the two of them. They sit on the floor for a minute, Zephyr and Raybina finally ready for the worst to be over.

    “I want to read Goodnight Moon.”

    They freeze again. Raybina pulls back from Mairi, trying to get her attention, watching her hands for flapping. Zephyr looks at Raybina and shakes his head, he doesn’t understand. He doesn’t want to understand.

    “I want to read Goodnight Moon.”

    Raybina devolves into sobs, clinging to Mairi and rocking her back and forth. Zephyr tries again.
    “Mairi, come on.” He pulls them both to their feet and scoops Mairi into his arms. “Let’s go read Goo-

    “I want to read Goodnight Moon.”

    He nods and carries her up to the library. He knows she fixates, maybe this is fixation. He pulls out her copy of the book and brings it to her, but when he starts to read he’s quickly interrupted.

    “I want to read Goodnight Moon.”

    Raybina is the deciding factor. She instructs him to pack her up and fuel up his ship. “We’re going to find someone to fix this. Get ready to leave. Now.” She is not one to be argued with, and Zephyr is too numb, too broken to do otherwise. He leads her home, she will walk if pulled along, and sits her on her bed while he begins to pack up her clothes. She sits on her bed, motionless.

    “I want to read Goodnight Moon.”

    There is a knock at the door and then a quiet ‘beep’ as someone enters. It’s Marta, in a dress Mairi tailored for her.
    Marta sobs so hard she can barely breathe as she helps Zephyr change her into clean clothing, and she won’t take no for an answer when she says she is going to go with them.

    Tetsaiga is the same, and he’s already packed and ready to leave. Annie and Rosie will be left in care of his nurse.

    And so they leave, Raybina, Zephyr, Sai, Marta, and broken little Mairi, off to find some way, some how, to get her back to who she was before.
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